The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Cult

There are a few interesting documentaries being broadcast right now about some of the Off To One Side of Reality Cults out there and the effects they bring to their followers. HBO is currently showing one about this small group that followed a woman who they considered God. There is another one about the Krishna Consciousness movement and how they promoted certain individuals up to, “Guru,” status and one of those promoted men was molesting young boys. LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE!
 
Certainly, we have all headed about all of the goings-on in the Catholic Church which, as far as I can tell, is just a very large cult. There was a good doc they did on Netflix, not that long ago, about the inner-working of the church called, Vatican Girl. Interesting…
 
The thing is, at the central heart of all these docs, and the generalized factor of most cults in general, is God, and the listening to or the working for one figure in a position of authority that messes up everything for all those who follow. Though many/most who follow never question the directions they were given.
 
The fact is, that could have been me. I was all-involved in all of that kind of stuff in my younger years: finding deeper meaning, seeking out the, “Truth,” turning away from the constrains of modern society, and all of that. I guess I was lucky. Though I moved in those circles, I never had any bad experiences. Like I have said before, in all the years I was with Swami Satchidananda, and following his teachings, I donated a total of ten dollars. Yes, ten dollars. That was a donation to help pay for a new blanket for his room at the Los Angeles Ashram. Sure, I gave the group a lot of my hours. I was his soundman and I helped in all kinds of other ways. But, they were all my friends. I was spending time with my friends. I was having fun. The main thing is, when it came time for me to walk away, no one held me back, they simply apologized for the reason I left which was one of the Swami’s, from a different city, power tripping me. I’ve written about all of that elsewhere.

I do get it though. I mean, once you’re in, you’re in, and how do you get out? It’s like when Stephen (Gaskin) had set up, “The Farm,” down in Tennessee, I did think about moving there. When he was in L.A. I asked him what would happen to my car if I moved down there, (as I owned my own car). He told me, they, “The Farm,” would take possession of it. This led me to thinking, “What if I changed my mind farther down the line? How could I get home?” And, that’s the thing, these groups take control over all of your possessions. Thus, leaving you trapped with nothing but what they choose to give you. Did Stephen, his teachings, his commune farm, or anyone else mean that much to me? Enough for me to give them my everything? Enough for me to give them my tomorrow? At least for me, the answer was, “No.”
 
Though I believe Stephen could be called an exception, as he operated from a fairly refined and honest state of mind, most teachers are not like that. And, this brings us to the point of all of this, at least this piece. The reason there are cults, the reason some of them lead a person down a dark road, is that one person rises to the top, either through promotion or via their own egocentric mindset—someone who does not possess the mental development to be in that position.
 
This doesn’t just happen in spiritual circles. I have witnessed this in the martial arts, as well. Like I have said and written about many times, when I was coming up through the ranks, in my early years, a person was promoted by their teacher. This was a very truthful and organic relationship. Then arose the era of vast organizations. From this, people were promoted to high ranks via less than rational and/or deserved methods. Not to mention all the people who created their own organizations so they could promote themselves and other people. Thus, putting themselves in the position of authority. From this, everything became so convoluted. …The nonsense that went on due to all of this nonsense, by undeserving people, Oh My God! Me, I turned my back on all of that.   
 
Again, this all goes to the fact that one person is at the head of the table, telling other people what they should or should not do, while believing they possess the authority to do just that. And, they are making their followers believe what they are doing is for some greater good. A great good like god. Yet, they do this without possess the mental framework do operate from a pure and purely positive state of mind.
 
You know, when you watch these docs, you want to tell these people, “Take a look at what’s going on!” You want to question them, “Why would anyone believe that bullshit? Look at what you are believing! Look at who you are listening to!” But, once that person is in deep, they are in deep. The fact is, some people simply want to BELIEVE.
 
So, as in all categorizes of life, you really need to question what you are believing and why are you believing it? Who are you following and why? If you don’t ask yourselves these questions, if you do not have the mental will to walk away, then are you in control of your own life? If you seek deeper meaning, promised to you by one person telling you how you should feel and why you should feel it, and what you should do, what does that say about your own mental development, your own free will, your own self-worth? I get it, some people are damaged. They seek out help. They desire guidance. Be all that as it may, at the end of the day, if all you do is follow, if all you do is believe, then you have no mind of your own.
 
I am certain that most of the people who read this blog have never fallen prey to the exploits of a religious teacher. But, some of the people who guide one down the dark road are sublet. You may never see it coming. Maybe you just believe you are in love, and you are doing whatever it is you are doing for the sake of love. Look at what just occurred with Ditty and his one-time girlfriend and the horrific claims she has made that were immediately silenced by him, “Settling,” for an, “Undisclosed amount.” Power and control over you and your mind can come at you from very abstract directions. You have to be vigilant. You really need to be careful.
 
The only suggestion I can make in all of this is, keep your eyes and your ears open. Don’t allow yourself to buy into the bullshit.  If anyone is asking for anything that you are not willing to give, the answer is, “No.” Always have the strength to walk away.