Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:43 pm

Princess Nokia – "Brujas" (2017)


While the beat is a nod to jungle, the lyrics and video of "Brujas" celebrate Bronx rapper Princess Nokia's Afro-Latina heritage on this Blanco and DJ Bass Bear-produced track from her homage to 90s hip-hop 1992. References to the Caribbean-originating Santería and West African Yoruba religions are deployed to celebrate the strength, power and solidarity of the women who birthed that part of the African diaspora.

https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/x ... kia-iamddb
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:59 pm

By the way, I don't think there is actually evidence that Adrenochrome is the awesome recreational drug that Hunter S. Thompson et al claim it to be. Scientology is a fucked up cult and Reich turned weird by the end of his life...


Tripping with Wilhelm Reich

PUBLISHED JUL 14, 1999 AT 6:01 AM (UPDATED AUG 13, 2014)

American Odyssey by Wilhelm Reich edited by Mary Boyd Higgins Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 453 pages, $27

In the course of my long sojourn on the fringes of our society, way out where the buses don't run too often, I've occasionally come across adherents of the orgone theory of Wilhelm Reich. Not often, because they are rare. Reich's books were burned and he was clapped into the hoosegow for his dissent against the methods and power of the AMA and the FDA. I never really developed much of an interest in his work. I sensed a certain naivete about the guy. He railed against Hitler and "Hitlerism" without ever addressing the question of Hitler's sponsors, IG Farben being the most prominent. He tilted his lance at the AMA and the FDA without ever acknowledging the force behind those two malign influences, the pharmaceutical industry. His notion of the orgone and the therapeutic effect of orgasm has always seemed to me to be a Western man's attempt to quantify what acupuncturists call "chi," elusive in the quantifiable sense but definitely observable in terms of reproducible results. The first person who ever uttered the word "orgone" in my presence was a fellow by the name of Richie Poore. Richie was a remarkable character. I first met him in Camden, NJ, in 1969. He was living in an apartment next to the Arlo movie theater on Westfield Ave., dealing acid and speed and occasional rare exotics like adrenochrome and DMT. He was a bodybuilder, and he looked for all the world like Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, sans the scars and the bolts. The apartment was painted black with metal sheets over the windows. There were cats, and a very large boa constrictor named Barbie. The cats enjoyed taunting the boa. Richie was very much out of the closet about his sexual proclivities, which fell into a narrow range concisely described as homosexual sadism. There was a full-size rack, which doubled as a coffee table in the living room. I was a fairly attractive teenager, if you liked anorectic maniacs, and besides being a client of my informal pharmaceuticals enterprise, Richie had a fairly strong attraction to my emaciated, woodcut-martyr frame. I will confess to having played his affections a bit for the sake of my business. I was, after all, a runaway, and I do not take welfare. He drove a '69 Roadrunner, seriously modified, with big fat mag wheels and a Hurst shifter. That car was the fastest thing I have ever ridden in, and it handled like a tank. It hugged the highway on the tightest of curves regardless of speed. One night Richie got stopped by the cops running 65 tabs of acid to a client in Medford Lakes. He tucked the baggie full of hits into his cheek for the search, and when push came to shove, he swallowed them. The cops rode away emptyhanded, Richie canceled the appointment and drove into the Pine Barrens. Richie was acutely interested in physics; specifically, the area of cosmology. The ability to dazzle a roomful of trippers with a lucid explanation of the tachyon was his most charming aspect. I'd sold him the product he was delivering that night. My connection was the cook, so I knew the dosage. By my reckoning, Richie Poore ate 32,500 micrograms of very pure LSD that night. Upping the dosage does not extend the duration: It increases the intensity. By way of comparison, a standard contemporary Deadhead dose is 125-150 mcg., enough to get "wiggly" and achieve a certain cozy antidepressant effect. 500 mcg. in a dark, quiet space will give most people a religious experience. 2000 mcg. will definitely introduce you to Big Molly The Shredder and The Pilot Light Of The Universe even if you are Homer Simpson standing in line at Kmart. The most I ever ate in one sitting was 4000 mcg., and I could not distinguish between myself and the world. All boundaries dissolved and I finally understood what John Cage was doing. Word got around quickly, and we were all quite worried until he roared skidding back into Camden three days later, looking oddly refreshed with a somewhat eerie light in his eyes. He immediately set about transforming his bedroom into an orgone accumulator: a layer of plywood, a layer of sheet metal, a layer of plywood, a layer of sheet metal and so forth, finishing with a layer of sheet metal, which definitely enhanced the already dungeon-like aspect of Richie's boudoir and served to worsen the more claustrophobic aspects of the room. I was, like, "You want 'life force,' why don't you open up the windows and get a few houseplants?" I've always been a bit of a yenta. He took to ranting about the orgone, and how this force was the animating cause behind all things: electricity, magnetism, gravity, life itself. He maintained that all matter was a function of orgone, that we lived at the bottom of a sea of orgone. He started engaging in seriously odd behavior in that room, way beyond s&m, lengthy deviant tantric exercises involving skinny little guys he picked up at 13th and Locust in Philadelphia and weird drugs like adrenochrome. There was a very discernible bluish light that flickered around in that room even when you weren't on drugs, kind of like the northern lights, and the whole situation began to give me the willies. The last night I partied with Richie I swear he demonstrated a phenomenon that he called "reverse trails," in which he somehow altered the pitch of the room or somehow autosuggested a roomful of people into thinking that we were perceiving the moves we were about to make as the well-known "trail" effect of LSD, except in reverse. It was thoroughly unsettling, and I never went back. It all happened in that orgone room. Fans of Wilhelm Reich will be delighted at the release of American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940-1947. Reich, like Aleister Crowley and L. Ron Hubbard, generated a fiercely loyal following so intrigued by the work that they find it necessary to comb over every scrap and doodle in an effort to discern the key to the mysteries. Reich leans closer to Crowley in his personal pathologies, particularly in the area of megalomania, but his critique of psychiatry and the "mechanistic method" of approaching the human condition put him closer to Hubbard's challenge than the blatant hoodoo perpetrated by Crowley. Crowley, Reich and Hubbard were all psychiatric heretics, rebels against the bankrupt pseudoscience shoveling social control at the masses in the name of "self-realization." Psychiatry has always and only been about making difficult people compliant. One has only to examine the case of Antonin Artaud to see how poisonous the cult of psychiatry actually is. The psychiatrists now seem intent upon drugging the whole population of America. Crowley got lost in his own drug-fueled overconfidence, succumbing to a genuine messiah complex and ultimately indulging his own narcissism with the creation of a series of masturbatory bibliophilic cliques based on Freemasonry and the addle-headed sophistry of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Unlike Reich and Hubbard, his methods were in no way scientific, and his dubious claims remain irreproducible. Reich was purer; he had no need of followers or disciples. Reich had an idea, and his idea ate him. Reich wasn't a doper or a sex fiend like Crowley or Freud, Reich's mentor, but this volume reveals a man gradually eaten by isolation, bitterness and defeatism. The true centerpiece of the book is his rejection by Einstein, with whom he corresponded at length and met with in 1941. This rejection haunts him throughout this work. What he shared with Hubbard was a completely oppositional position with regard to psychiatric orthodoxy, but Reich required the approval of the medical establishment, whereas Hubbard was content to cut a new trail. I am neither a Scientologist nor an "orgonist," but I sure hate psychiatry, and this book piqued my curiosity: Why did Hubbard succeed where Reich failed? I discussed this with my ex-wife during a recent visit, and she pointed out that the most fundamental distinction is obvious: Reich put people in boxes, while Hubbard had them holding things. Orgonon was essentially about isolation, while Dianetics is essentially about contact. I decided to call up John Carmichael, my friend at the Church of Scientology of New York, and run these ideas past him. He's a very enlightened guy, well versed in various cosmologies and very open-minded with regard to alternative belief systems. He hangs out with me, and I'm a Satanist. That's about as open-minded as it gets. I met with John at CS HQ on 46th St. I wanted an angle on the distinction between Hubbard and Reich. Why did one man succeed, despite his lack of credentials, while the other, with his fancy Viennese MD and his bishopric from Freud himself, winds up dying in the stripey hole? It wasn't just the effectiveness of the Hubbard tech. Everyone I've known who has experience with orgone accumulators says they work, and most of these people seem to have benefited from these devices. It is not some bogus construct. There is a very distinct difference in emotional color between Hubbard and Reich. I was hoping John could help me to articulate this perception. We chatted for about 45 minutes, the gist of it being that Hubbard was first and foremost an explorer, a barnstormer, a wanderer who couldn't resist Terra Incognita, whether in the jungle, at sea or half an inch behind the forehead. Hubbard couldn't fail because he had no agenda beyond discovery. Unlike Crowley, he had no interest in setting himself up as some kind of "Beast" or messiah. He differed from Reich in that he had no interest in establishing his credentials or proving anything to the psychiatric establishment. At no point does Hubbard claim that Dianetics and Scientology are anything other than his own devices, and yet he avoids falling into the messianic trap. He was an empiricist, not a witch doctor. Reich's martyr complex is altogether too evident in this work. For example: 20 December 1940 To adhere to the truth and to remain honest are very costly attitudes. Business forces people to be so petty and low that a person must be really strong to avoid sinking to the level of others for the sake of his cause. A person is always smaller than the convictions he carries within himself, smaller by far. I'd like nothing better than to be tolerant and courteous, nonoffensive, and on good terms with everyone. It doesn't work... And then his journal entry of Jan. 14, 1943: "I have become indifferent to man, he is just too offensive." This creeping misanthropy and sense of impending defeat ate Reich's head precisely because he had an agenda. American Odyssey is a fascinating read, but ultimately very depressing. Richie Poore died of a cocaine overdose some number of years ago, or I'd be quoting him here. Orgonon languishes in obscurity. The Crowleyites keep issuing new editions of works by a man who died in 1947. Scientology is arguably the third fastest-growing religion on the planet.

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:47 am

Jean-Paul Sartre’s bad mescaline trip led to the philosopher being followed by imaginary crabs for years

The mescaline experience that turned out to haunt Sartre took place in 1929, when he was a student at the prestigious Parisian collegiate university École Normale Supérieure. During that same year, he met Simone de Beauvoir, a woman with whom he maintained a lifelong companionship and a non-exclusive romantic relationship. De Beauvoir was a devout feminist, a writer, a prolific social and political activist, and also an existential philosopher.

Jean-Paul Sartre (middle) and Simone de Beauvoir (left) meeting with Che Guevara (right) in Cuba, 1960

Sartre reportedly took an injection of mescaline in order to gain inspiration for his writing and to study his own psychological processes. However, the dose he took was too high and it caused the famous writer to suffer frightening psychological consequences. During the mescaline trip, he started seeing various sea creatures like octopi, jellyfish, lobsters, and crabs. When the drug wore off, he continued hallucinating, seeing lobsters and crabs for several years. The creatures were almost always around him, and they followed him wherever he went. Sartre recalled the experience in an interview conducted in 1971 by John Gerassi, a professor at Queens College in New York:

Sketch of Sartre for the New York Times by Reginald Gray, 1965

“Yeah, after I took mescaline, I started seeing crabs around me all the time. They followed me in the streets, into class. I got used to them. I would wake up in the morning and say, ‘Good morning, my little ones, how did you sleep?’ I would talk to them all the time. I would say, ‘OK, guys, we’re going to class now, so we have to be still and quiet,’ and they would be there, around my desk, absolutely still, until the bell rang.”

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:42 pm

Everything is Everything:

The Shack by the Lagoon

Scott Hamilton – 8 April, 2018

Unlike the inhabitants of the contemporary West, Tongans take art very seriously-–no important social event in their kingdom is complete without music, poetry, dance, and the exchange of barkcloth paintings. Seleka has caused bemusement and outrage, because its methods and products seem to flout all of the conventions of Tongan art. The kingdom’s poets and painters traditionally seek the protection and patronage of nobles and kings, and try to create the harmonious patterns of images and sounds that Futa Helu had so admired. Seleka, by contrast, works autonomously, and makes art full of chaos and anger and humour.

Last year one of the world’s most famous actors visited a lagoonside shack in Tonga to drink kava with a group of local artists. Sam Neill is just one of a series of palangi to have made a pilgrimage to the fale of the Seleka Art and Kava Club. Since the club was founded in 2008 artists writers, musicians, and sociologists from Australasia, America, and Europe have sat with the Selekarians, as club members call themselves, to drink and paint and laugh and (in my case) make earnest notes.

The Selekarians have made their own journeys. They have enjoyed residencies at New Zealand and Australian universities, have been invited to conferences and festivals across the Pacific, and have published and exhibited their paintings and drawings across Australasia.

Two months ago Cyclone Gita blew across the flat motu of Tongatapu, bending coconut trees and breaking fale. Seleka’s clubhouse was levelled.

A week or so after Gita, Mike Hosking used his column in the New Zealand Herald to question whether Kiwis should help Tongans rebuild their country. New Zealand gets nothing from Tonga, Hosking complained. Why should we give them anything?

Some of New Zealand’s best artists disagree with Hosking. Andy Leleisi’uao, Julian Hooper, Michael Smither, Benjamin Work, Dagmar Dyck, the prodigal Ercan Cairns, and a dozen other artists donated work to a resplendent exhibition called Shine on Seleka at Small Axe Studio in Onehunga. Nearly every work hung at Small Axe sold, and thousands of dollars were raised to help pay for the rebuild of that clubhouse by the lagoon.


When I looked at the works in Small Axe, I remembered my first visit to the Seleka Club, in 2013.

I remembered standing at the crossroads in Havelu, a village on the southern outskirts of Nuku’alofa, the Kingdom of Tonga’s capital and only city. It was a Saturday evening, and the market beside the crossroads was closing. A few fruits and vegetables - undersized kumala, paw paw leaking black seeds—lay unsold on blankets. Women turned prematurely grey by the roads’ coral dust lifted the blankets, folded them, and threw them onto the backs of patched-up utes. The unsold produce landed next to the bodies of children, who had clambered aboard and fallen asleep after a day’s work in the sun. The utes drove slowly off, wallowing in one pothole after another, through the intersection and away from town, down roads where lamp posts were replaced by coconut trees.

As I walked through Havelu, smoke from dozens of open fires mixed with the coral dust in my nostrils. Piglets turned on thin sticks above the fires. The suburb’s streetlights were dark but noisy: flying foxes squeaked and teetered on their summits, beside smashed bulbs. I walked in the light that spilled from a series of squat, corrugated iron shops, where Chinese men and women sat behind metal grilles with the blank expressions of bored toll booth operators.

Following the directions a Selekarian had given me over the phone, I turned down an alley towards the lagoon. A gang of dogs followed me, whining and barking with the curious mixture of pathos and menace I had come to expect from Nuku’alofa’s wildlife. One of the dogs had a red-scabbed stump instead of a tail; another limped at the back of the pack, trailing a broken paw in the dust.

I could hear Fanga’uta lagoon lapping at the end of the lane, see moonlight lying on the water like the scales of dead fish. Tongatapu’s hospital is named Vaiola, after a legendary pool that bestows eternal health on anyone who bathes in it. But the modern Vaiola pumps its chemical waste into the lagoon, killing the creatures there.In the distance I could see a black peninsula lurching into the lagoon. It was the home of Longoteme, the village where Ans Westra shot her first book of photographs, Viliami of the Friendly Islands, in 1963.

Westra was disappointed by Tonga. She had expected a primordial paradise, where the indigenes lived without rank or clothing, and found instead a hybrid, complexly hierarchical society where pagan chiefs had refashioned themselves as lords and barons, and where an ultra-conservative brand of Wesleyanism somehow tolerated kava, alcohol, feasting and constant extra-marital sex. Many of the images Westra made in Longoteme offer self-consciously remote views of Tongan life. Like a sniper or a scout, Westra looked at the people of the village from a distance, without apparent emotion.

Near the end of the alley I found a breezeblock building filled with bright light. A dozen men, most of them elderly, sat in a circle around a kava bowl. The men wore the waist-mats Tongans call ta’ovala and the skirts the islanders call tupenu. A teenage girl knelt beside the bowl with a ladle in her lap.

One of the drinkers turned towards me. He wore the light blue jacket of the Free Wesleyan Church, and when he opened his mouth to speak I saw a strange mixture of gold teeth and rotten stumps.

‘Malei. Come. Drink with us.’ He pointed to an unoccupied piece of the dirty mat that covered half of the concrete floor of the kava club. I stepped through the club’s open door.

‘Malo’ I said. ‘I’m looking for the Seleka Club. Is this it?’

Giggles and snorts rippled around the kava circle.

‘Why would you want to see those shitheads?’ the man in the blue jacket asked.

‘Well, I was interested in their art.’

‘Their club is the shit club. They have shit for brains, they drink shit, and they paint shit.’

I knew that the Seleka Club was unpopular with some Tongans—I’d met an elderly man in a café in central Nuku’alofa who’d boasted of buying Selekarian artwork and then taking it home to burn, as a sort of apology to god. But I was surprised by the language of the man in the blue jacket. I was about to walk away when he softened his voice.

‘They’re on the other side of the road, right beside the water.’

‘Malo. Malo aupito.’ I stepped back outside, and found my honour guard of mongrels waiting.

The Seleka clubhouse was a rectangular shack made with roughly cut lengths of wood. A dozen or so old tyres kept its roof of bamboo and coconut fronds and pandanus leaves from sliding into the lagoon. As I stood at the door of the club I could hear music—not the gentle singalongs common in Tongan kava clubs, but the skittering electronic beat of dubstep, filtered through a dodgy amp.

Inside a disco ball hung from the ceiling; its colours flew onto the walls, and blended with the psychedelic calligraphy and pictures that hung there. Smoke and the smell of bootleg Tongan tobacco filled the air. A long table ran down the centre of the clubhouse; it was covered in the ruins of a meal of banana, watermelon, pawpaw, and fried chicken, as well as with kava cups and messy paintbrushes and bleeding tubes of paint.

A white plastic bucket sat at the centre of the table. The lid of a toilet bowl had been fitted around the top of the bucket. The kava inside the bucket had been dyed purple. I heard a high-pitched sound, and saw a young man with an Afro and a bad case of acne ringing the sort of call bell that belongs on the counter of a store. ‘Pass the ta’e!’ the young man shouted, grinning at me. My Tongan vocabulary was limited, but I knew that ta’e was the word for excrement. I saw a cup of purple liquid being passed from hand to hand down the table, towards the teenager with the Afro.

A slightly older man rose from the table, and walked toward me, looking solemn.

‘Malei’ he said.

‘Malei. I wanted to visit the Seleka Club.’

‘You are visiting the Seleka Club.’

‘My name is Sikoti, and —‘

‘Tuku ‘ia! Stop! You can’t say your name here!’

‘Oh. Kataki fakamolemole. I’m really sorry.’

‘That’s OK. It’s one of our customs. If you want to drink with us, you must choose a new name, a club name.

‘Fair enough. What’s your club name?’

‘My name is China Bitch.’ My interlocutor was smiling proudly.

China Bitch sat me at the table, brushed away a gutted pawpaw, and introduced me to Buddha, whom he called the founder and unofficial leader of the Selekarians. I recognised Buddha as Tevita Latu, Tonga’s most controversial painter. Latu had a huge head and a long and turbulent beard, which was flecked with paint. His voice was soft but his language was precise. ‘We must give our guest a name. Sipi’i seems suitable. How does our visitor like it?’

‘I’m sorry, ta’e mahino faka Tonga. I have no idea what the name means.’

‘That doesn’t matter.’ A slow grin appeared from the depths of Latu’s beard. ‘Do you like it or not?’

‘I guess so’ I said. I didn’t want to seem vain, or querulous. ‘Sipi’i is fine.’

‘Great. China Bitch will draw your name and add it to our wall. When he has finished you will be a Selekarian. Our club has only two rules: do not fight and do not steal. Do you agree to follow those rules?’

‘Of course. Though, come to think of it, what if I write about you, about the club’s art - does that count as theft?’

‘Depends what you write.’ Buddha smiled again, and someone passed me a cup of kava from the bowl with the toilet lid.

‘By the way’ China Bitch whispered, ‘Sipi’i means slap.’

For the rest of the night Tevita Latu and I drank and talked. He told me about his career as an artist, and about the origins of the Seleka Club.

Latu came from an important family in Havelu. He studied art in Australia and earned a couple of degrees, but decided to return to his homeland rather than seek citizenship and a career abroad.

Latu arrived back in Tonga just in time for a revolutionary crisis. In 2004 the kingdom’s civil servants staged an epic strike and occupied a part of downtown Nuku’alofa; in 2005 twenty thousand people, one fifth of the nation, marched through the capital to demand an end to the monarchy’s control of politics, and a permanent protest camp was established outside the royal palace. Latu joined the protests, and began to adorn the walls of Nuku’alofa with graffiti, which he signed with the name Ezekiel.

When a pro-democracy march turned into a riot in 2006, the world’s television screens showed Ezekiel slogans like Democracy not Hypocrisy and The Nu Face of Youth Rebellion on the walls of burning looted buildings. (Latu was himself was not involved in either the riot or the march that had preceded it. On the day of the violence he had been due to open his first art exhibition, in a conference centre near the middle of Nuku’alofa. As the rioters and the flames got closer and closer, he took down the paintings he had just hung on the centre’s walls, and dragged them back to the safety of Havelu.)

The young artist was fighting aesthetic as well as political battles. After returning to Tonga he had gotten a job at ‘Atenisi, the impoverished but influential university founded by the legendary polymath Futa Helu. ‘Atenisi was the Tongan word for Athens, and Helu, who had studied philosophy and classics and a slew of other subjects at the University of Sydney, had dreamed of creating a sort of Greek academy in the South Pacific, where teachers and students would dialogue around a kava bowl rather than a wine bowl.

Helu had written authoritatively about Tongan art. He saw a parallel between traditional Tongan barkcloth painting, dance, and song, with their intricate symmetries and repetitions, and the art of ancient Greece. Art existed, Helu said, ‘to perfect life’.

But the young Tevita Latu was uninterested in the symmetry and order that Helu’s classical aesthetics prioritised. In Australia Latu had developed a style that combined Cubist distortions of space with an Expressionist use of colour and form to convey emotion. He gave the figures on his canvases grotesque faces and convulsive movements, and surrounded them with the black, turbulent lines he had learned from Egon Schiele.

Helu and Latu argued around ‘Atenisi’s kava bowl, but they did not achieve the tidy resolution of differences we find at the end of some Platonic dialogues. With his usual generosity, Helu invited his young critic to paint the walls of a concrete building ‘Atenisi had recently raised for its art students. Latu responded with a series of mutant, transmogrifying figures, beasts with claws and fangs and suppurating wounds, creatures who filled the speech bubbles that escaped from their orifices with fragments of Nuku’alofa’s pidgin English-Tongan street slang.

‘Futa didn’t understand what Tevita was doing at all, and Tevita didn’t get where Futa was coming from either’ Paul Janman told me. Janman had taught at ‘Atenisi alongside Latu, and later made Tongan Ark, an acclaimed film about Futa Helu’s life and death. ‘Futa wanted to talk about Aristotle’s aesthetics, about the beautiful dances of ancient Tonga; Tevita was interested in Basquiat, in street art. It’s so sad that they didn’t connect.’

By 2006 Latu had left ‘Atenisi. In 2008 he held the first session of the Seleka Club. The club’s name was an anagram of kasele, the Tongan word for toilet. The club’s scatological imagery, the strange names it gave to its members, and the loud music it played baffled older Tongans, and attracted young people. Dropouts from Nuku’alofa’s high schools found their way to the clubhouse, where they drank kava rather than alcohol, and painted or made music rather than smoked amphetamines. Latu may have quarreled with Futa Helu, but by 2013 he had become, like the young Helu in the 1960s and ‘70s, a leader of youth and a beacon of liberalism in a conservative society.


I had visited the Seleka Club after encountering Latu’s paintings at Langafonua, a craft and art cooperative that had run a gallery-store in downtown Nuku’alofa since the 1950s. Langafonua was filled with barkcloth paintings and carvings, made with more or less technical skill, but made for palangi, and made using imagery cribbed either from a calcified tradition or from the West. Langafonua had dolphins that reminded me of Disney films; Langafonua had acres of barkcloth covered in over-familiar images: crowns, flying foxes, Norfolk pines.

Latu’s paintings were hanging in a niche at the back of Langafonua; a few metres of bare shelves created a sort of cordon sanitaire around them. Pigs Killed in the Name of God showed a group of men preparing to feast on puaka at one of Tonga’s interminable and gluttonous church conferences. The men were short and bald, and had mean expressions on their faces; the creatures they held aloft on spit-sticks were massive, and covered in exquisite abstract patterns that recalled both the delicate, recalcitrant tapa of Samoa and the Aboriginal rock art Latu had studied during his years in Australia. Despite their size and stillness, the pigs seemed strangely graceful.

The pig has often been a symbol of uncleanliness in the Friendly Islands. One of the first laws made by Tupou I, the founder of modern Tonga, called for the fencing in of the animals, so that they could not wander through and despoil villages. When Tupou I’s Wesleyan army overran the pagan villages of Tongatapu, it desecrated the abandoned temples of its enemies by letting pigs run through them and graze in their grounds. In Pigs Sacrificed in the Name of God, Tevita Latu had made a despised creature beautiful, and shown the ugliness of that creature’s slayers.

Another painting I saw at Langafonua was called Storming the Gates of Bedlam. It showed a series of Picassoid figures convulsing in agony, or exultation. ‘That was a portrait of some of the psychiatric patients who drink kava with us,’ Latu told me at the Seleka Club. ‘Some of them come here as outpatients—they see us as an accepting place. But we’ve also drunk kava at the psychiatric unit in Vaiola—the doctors there invited us. They think art and kava are ways to calm the mind.’

By 2013 Seleka was beginning to attract attention from Tonga’s more progressive civil servants, and from non-governmental organisations. In the years ahead Latu and his comrades would become involved in a series of public projects. They would paint murals in the children’s ward of Vaiola hospital, and decorate Nuku’alofa’s rubbish bins; they would compose songs and posters for festivals held to protest corruption and raise environmental awareness; they would decorate a community kindergarten.

While I talked with Latu, aka Buddha, China Bitch had been drawing my new name in large, italicised yellow letters. ‘We draw every club member’s name and put it on a wall’ Latu told me.

‘Should I be offended that you’ve called me Sipi’i?’ I asked Latu. ‘Doesn’t it mean Slap?’

‘It doesn’t quite mean Slap’ Latu said gravely. ‘You could probably translate it more accurately as Bitchslap.’

‘What about China Bitch?’ I asked. ‘How did he get that name?’

‘He’s somewhat yellow, isn’t he?’ Tevita said evenly. ‘But you shouldn’t take everything so literally, Sipi’i. We’re Tongans.’

I remembered the concept of heliaki, which governs Tongan classical poetry as well as small talk at kava clubs. A poet or gossiper will say one thing, and mean another, and challenge listeners to sort what is genuine from what is a joke.

I told Latu about the old man who was buying and burning his work. ‘That’s a tribute’ he said. ‘To be hated - that’s a tribute. The Nazis burned books they feared. The missionaries, the converts, they burned statues of the old gods. A lot of my paintings attack corruption, in politics and religion. I do not go to church. I do not support the king.’ He smiled. ‘And sometimes people dislike what I wear.’ Latu was infamous in Nuku’alofa for the T shirts he designed and donned. I’d seen him stop by an ‘Atenisi kava circle wearing a shirt that bore the words God’s busy. Want to talk to the Devil instead?


As I sat in the Seleka clubhouse talking with Tevita Latu I felt more and more excited. A tingling began in my feet, ran up my legs and through my groin, entered my arms. My head was light. I waved and smiled at Selekarians up and down the table, with the undiscriminating friendliness of a child.

It wasn’t just Tongan kava that had intoxicated me. I was thinking back to my teens, to high school Art History classes, to the elderly teacher who gave us dogeared photocopies of The Futurist Manifesto, and played us flickering clips of Dadaist and Surrealist films. Our teacher talked about the tumult that avant-garde art once created, about the riot started by the premiere of Nijinsky and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, about the banning of ‘obscene’ modernists like James Joyce.

I understood, even as a teenager, that the avant-garde belonged to the past. With their excitement over objects as commonplace as motorbikes and trains, their belief that a revolution in art could create a revolution in life, and their foppish and colourful costumes, the avant-gardists of early twentieth century Europe seemed quaint, even fusty. They were charming, in the old-fashioned way a gramophone or Model T Ford is charming.

At the end of the twentieth century there were artists and writers and musicians who tried to provoke, even shock, the public, but they could never create the consternation their forebears had stirred. Western societies like New Zealand had recuperated and institutionalised innovative art. There were spaces—austere galleries, fringe theatres, seedy bars with stages in their beer gardens—set aside for ritualised provocation. The public expected contemporary art, or at least a segment of contemporary art, to be incomprehensible, or unpleasant, or both, but art was no longer central to society. Art had become an exotic recreational activity, like surfing or tai chi, that one might or might not take up, but it did not demand, through its very existence, attention, and interpretation, and judgement.

Now I realised that I had found, in Tonga, in 2013, a genuine avant-garde movement, an heir to Dadaism, to Surrealism, to the other aesthetic irruptions of the early twentieth century. Unlike the inhabitants of the contemporary West, Tongans take art very seriously—no important social event in their kingdom is complete without music, poetry, dance, and the exchange of barkcloth paintings. Seleka has caused bemusement and outrage, because its methods and products seem to flout all of the conventions of Tongan art. The kingdom’s poets and painters traditionally seek the protection and patronage of nobles and kings, and tried to create the harmonious patterns of images and sounds that Futa Helu had so admired. Seleka, by contrast, works autonomously, and makes art full of chaos and anger and humour. I suddenly understood what Tevita Latu had meant, when he called the burning of his paintings a tribute.

Continues: http://eyecontactsite.com/2018/04/the-s ... the-lagoon
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:51 am

Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Tibetan Buddhism, in the pop-cultural psyche of the United States, is the Dalai Lama’s face, grinning from a cover in the self-help section of your nearest bookstore. It’s a monk in a maroon robe sitting calmly in a full-skull electrode cap as researchers probe his mind to learn how meditation plays into his unique serenity. It’s that over-the-top scene from the film Seven Years in Tibet (1997) in which Brad Pitt is trying to build a movie theatre for the young Dalai Lama in Lhasa in the 1940s when he realises that his local crew has such a strong reverence for life and abiding patience that, to a man, none is willing to harm worms while digging ditches.

Which is to say, Tibetan Buddhism in the US pop-cultural psyche is a monolithic and benign spiritual tradition built around simple wisdom, loving calmness and unflinching non-violence. This belief in an uncomplicated, compassionate and progressive Tibetan Buddhism is what allows us to reliably portray Tibetan Buddhists as sympathetic victims in the media. It’s what powers headlines in The Onion such as ‘Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows to Unleash Tranquility on the West’ – and what at one point created an unprecedented market for Tibetan nannies in cities such as New York. However pervasive the stereotype, though, the US vision of Tibetan Buddhism is anaemic, to say the least.

Sure, compassion is central to the faith. But there’s room for violence as well. Medieval Tibetan tales describe religious teachers breaking students’ bones, then healing them magically to bring them insight; they tell of monks assassinating corrupt kings to save Buddhism in Tibet. Modern history brings us the stories, often neglected in the West, of the CIA-backed violent insurgency that Tibetan Buddhists waged against the Chinese occupation from the 1950s to the mid-1970s – and of an all-Tibetan refugee unit formed in India to fight the Chinese in a 1962 war.

Far from being easy to grasp and anodyne, Tibetan Buddhism is rich in tantric practices, the impenetrably esoteric ideas and techniques used to try to slingshot spiritual seekers directly towards the enlightenment they seek to attain within this lifetime to best help others. It is difficult to succinctly sum up the diverse tantric traditions and sub-traditions, each of which contains a trove of doctrines and practices, some of which monks intentionally obscure from lay audiences, for fear that they will be misused or misunderstood by non-initiates.

Perhaps the best-known esoteric tradition in the West is the Kalachakra Initiation, the ceremony in which the Dalai Lama or other high-ranking monks slowly construct beautifully intricate mandalas out of coloured sand, and then wipe them away. Laypeople in the West usually read this ritual as simple religious art married to a lesson on the impermanence of everything. But building the mandala is part of a larger ritual process meant to prepare young acolytes for spiritual transformation. To drastically over-summarise, the mandala becomes a representation of, and portal into, the abode and mind of an enlightened deity, which monks can mentally travel through, psychically mainlining the whole of Buddhist thought from an elevated perspective. The mandala is seen as so magically charged that its dissipation actually spreads spiritual benefit into the wider world. Many tantric practices are similarly opaque and magical to outsiders, yet, because they deal with compassion and meditation, remain somewhat comprehensible to the pop-Western mind.

But other tantric traditions harness toxic emotions such as hatred, pride or desire to fuel the spiritual quest. Take for example karmamudra tantric practices, in which a spiritual practitioner, sometimes a monk and sometimes not, uses sexual intercourse to speed towards enlightenment. The sex is ritualistically controlled, and meant to help one inhabit the mind of enlightened beings. But the details of how that works are incredibly unclear to anyone outside of the tradition, and there is active debate within Tibetan Buddhist circles about how, when or even if it should be practised, much less described to laypeople. It is easy to see how these traditions could be warped, after all – how someone could spin a sex-as-spiritual practice into a form of coercion, dressing up carnal desires in sanctified garb, and foisting them on otherwise unwilling partners.

https://aeon.co/essays/what-lies-behind ... y-buddhist
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:30 pm

FTR #874 Update on Fascism and the New Age


In this program, we continue our intermittent examination of areas of overlap between the New Age and fascism. In FTR #873, we examined how the Atlantis myth has fed directly into Nazi occultism and “polygenesis,” a key feature of scientific racism. Inextricably linked with the notion of space aliens having spawned the “Aryan race,” the concept of Atlantis has spawned the enterprise of J.Z. Knight, aka “Ramtha.” Purporting to be the channeled spirit of a 35,000-year-old Atlantean/Lemurian warrior, Ramtha/Knight have disseminated a racist, anti-Semitic philosophy. Next, we turn to examination of a major constellation in the New Age firmament–the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Based in Petaluma, California, the institute was co-founded by SS officer, Third Reich and NASA rocket scientist and Project Paperclip import Werner von Braun. Another of the co-founders is former EXXON executive Paul Temple, who also is deeply involved with Abraham Vereide’s Fellowship Foundation. In FTR #697, we examined the strong connections between Vereide’s group, the Third Reich and post-war Underground Reich-connected elements. After examining Josef F. Blumrich, a key NASA official and alumnus of the Third Reich’s aerospace industry who advocates contact between the ancients and UFOs/space aliens, we conclude with a re-broadcast of FTR #170, detailing “The Nine.” Overlapping many aspects of the New Age, The Nine purport to be the ancient gods of Egypt, extraterrestrials and many other manifestations of the New Age. Apparently evolved from elements of the intelligence community’s mind control programs, The Nine also reinforce the concept of polygenesis.

More: http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ ... e-new-age/
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:38 pm

Dance to the Music

ImagePeople have always come together to move to music. In the process communities have been created, social divisions challenged, pleasure exalted over work and a billion relationships have blossomed. At the same time dancing bodies have often been subject to regulation – rules about when, where and how they can move, rules about who is allowed to dance with who, rules about what dancers can wear and put inside their bodies… That, in essence, is the ‘politics of dancing’.

This site aims to be a celebration of dance as an affirmation of life in different times and places, sometimes dangerous times and places.
(the title of this site comes from the tagline of the film 'The Last Days of Disco')

http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspo ... music.html
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:43 am

Dennis J. McKenna

‘An Unusual Experience with “Hoasca; A lesson from the Teacher’.

The following excerpt comes from a personal account of ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna’s unique Hoasca experience at a UDV conference in Brazil. While brother Terence may be more famous for his pose, this is personally one of my favorite pieces of entheogenic writing of all time, remarkable in both its erudition and in its style and flow, much like Dennis McKenna himself.

ImageMy own experience was not developing as I’d hoped. My stomach was queasy but not enough to send me to the bathroom and I felt restless and uncomfortable. I felt very little effect, except for some brief flashes of hypnagogia behind my closed eyes. I was disappointed; I had been hoping for more than a subthreshold experience, and I didn’t want to disappoint my hosts, who were concerned that their visitors should have a good experience and “get” it. When the Mestre signaled that he was ready to give a second glass to any one who wanted it, I was among the group of about a dozen Gringos that queued up in front of the table; apparently I was not the only one who was having a difficult time connecting with the spirit of the tea.

I took my second draught and settled back into my chair. It tasted, if possible, even worse than the first one had. Within a few minutes it became clear that this time, it was going to work. I began to feel the force of the hoasca course through my body, a feeling of energy passing from the base of my spine to the top of my head. It was like being borne upwards in a high-speed elevator. I was familiar with this state of sympathetic activation from previous mushroom experiences, and I welcomed the sensation as confirmation that the train was pulling out of the station.

The energized feeling and the sensation or rapid acceleration continued. It was much like mushrooms but seemed to be much stronger; I had the sense that this was one elevator it would be hard to exit from before reaching the top floor, wherever that might be. Random snippets of topics we had been discussing at the seminars in the previous days began to float into my consciousness. I remembered one seminar that had addressed the UDV’s concept that the power of hoasca tea is a combination of “force” and “light”; the “force” was supplied by the MAO-inhibiting Banisteriopsis vine, known as mariri in the local vernacular, while the light -- the visionary, hypnagogic component -- was derived from chacruna, the DMT-containing Psychotria admixture plant. I thought to myself what an apt characterization this was; hoasca was definitely a combination of “force” and “light” and at that moment I was well within the grip of the “force” and hoped that I was about to break out into “the light”.

At the instant I had that thought, I heard a voice, seeming to come from behind my left shoulder. It said something like, “you wanna see force?? I’ll show you force!” The question was clearly rhetorical, and I understood that I was about to experience something whether I wanted to or not. The next instant, I found myself changed into a disembodied point of view, suspended in space, thousands of miles over the Amazon basin. I could see the curvature of the earth, the stars beyond shown steadily against an inky backdrop, and far below I could see swirls and eddies of clouds over the basin, and the nerve-like tracery of vast river systems. From the center of the basin arose the World Tree, in the form of an enormous Banisteriopsis vine. It was twisted into a helical form and its flowering tops were just below my disembodied viewpoint, its base was anchored to the earth far below, lost to vision in the depths of mist and clouds and distance that stretched beneath me. As I gazed, awestruck, at this vision, the voice explained that the Amazon was the Omphalos of the planet, and that the twisted, rope-like Yggdrasil/Mariri World Tree was the lynchpin that tied the three realms -- the underworld, the earth and the sky -- together. Somehow I understood -- though no words were involved -- that, the Banisteriopsis vine was the embodiment of the plant intelligence that embraced and covered the earth, that together the community of the plant species that existed on the earth provided the nurturing energy that made life on earth possible. I “understood” that photosynthesis -- that neat trick, known only to green plants, of making complex organic compounds from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water, was the “force” the UDV was talking about, and indeed was the force on which all life depends; I was reminded of a line from Dylan Thomas, that photosynthesis is “the force that thru the green fuse drives the flower.

In the next moment, I found myself instantly transported from my bodiless perch in space to the lightless depths beneath the surface of the earth. I had somehow become a sentient water molecule, percolating randomly through the soil, lost amid the tangle of the enormous root fibers of the Banisteriopsis World Tree. I could feel the coolness, the dank dampness of the soil surrounding me, I felt suspended in an enormous underground cistern, a single drop among billions of drops. This sensation lasted only a moment, then I felt a definite sense of movement, as if squeezed by the implacable force of irresistable osmotic pressures, I was rapidly translocated into the roots of the Banisteriopsis tree; the sense of the rising, speeding elevator returned except this time I was being lifted rapidly through the vast pipes and tubes of the plant’s vascular system. I was a single molecule of water tumbling through the myriad branches and forks of the vertical maze, which grew progressively narrower the higher I went.

Finally, the sense of accelerating, vertical movement eased off; I was now floating freely, in a horizontal direction; no longer feeling pushed, I was suspended in the middle of a stream flowing through an enormous, vaulted tunnel , More than that, there was light at the end of the tunnel, a green light. With a start I realized that I had just passed through the petiole of a sun-drenched leaf, and was being shunted into progressively narrowing arteries as I was carried through the articulating veins toward some unknown destination. It helped that the voice -- or my own narrative self, I’m not sure which – was providing occasional commentary on the stages of the journey as it unfolded.

ImageDesperately I tried to remember my old lessons in plant physiology and anatomy; by this time I had been given the wordless understanding that I was about to witness, indeed, participate in, the central mystery of life on earth; a water molecule’s eye view of the process of photosynthesis. Suddenly I was no longer suspended in the arterial stream of the leaf vein; I had somehow been transported into an enormous enclosed space, suffused with greenish light. Above me I could see the domed, vaulted roof of the structure I was inside of, and I understood that I was inside a chloroplast; the roof was translucent and beams of sunlight streamed through it like a bedroom window on a bright morning. In front of me were flat, layered structures looking like folded sheets stacked closely together, covered with antenna-shaped structures, all facing in the same direction and all opened eagerly to receive the incoming light. I realized that these had to be the thylakoid membranes, the organelles within the chloroplast where the so-called “light reaction” takes place. The antenna-like structures covering them literally glowed and hummed with photonic energy, and I could see that somehow, this energy was being translocated through the membranes of the thylakoids they were mounted on. I recognized, or “understood” that these antenna-like arrays were molecules of cholorophyll, and the “anchors” that tied them to their membrane substrates were long tails of phytic acid that functioned as energy transducers, funneling the light energy collected by the flower-shaped receptors through the membrane and into the layers beneath it.

Next thing I knew I was beneath that membrane; I was being carried along as though borne on a conveyor belt; I could see the phytic acid chains dangling above and beyond them, through the semitransparent “roof” of the membrane, the flower-like porphyrin groups that formed the cholorophyll’s light gathering apparatus loomed like the dishes of a radio telescope array. In the center of the space was what looked like a mottled flat surface, periodically being smited by enormous bolts of energy which emanated, lightening-like, from the phytic acid tails suspended above it; and on that altar, water molecules were being smashed to smithereens by the energy bolts. Consciousness exploded and died in a spasm of electron ecstasy as I was smited by the bolt of energy emitted by the phytic acid transducers and my poor water-molecule soul was split asunder. As the light energy was used to ionize the water, the oxygen liberated in the process rose with a shriek to escape from the chamber of horrors, while the electrons, liberated from their matrix, were shunted into the electron-transport rollercoaster, sliding down the chain of cytochromes like a dancer being passed from partner to partner, into the waiting arms of Photosystem I, only to be blasted again by yet another photonic charge, bounced into the close but fleeting embrace of ferredoxin, the primary electron acceptor, ultimately captured by NADP+ , to be used as bait to capture two elusive protons, as a flame draws a moth. Suddenly I was outside the flattened thylakoid structures, which from my perspective looked like high-rise, circular apartment buildings. I recognized that I was suspended in the stroma, the region outside the thylakoid membranes, where the mysterious Dark Reaction takes place, the alchemical wedding that joins carbon dioxide to ribulose diphosphate, a shot-gun marriage presided over by ribulose diphosphate carboxylase, the first enzyme in the so-called pentose phosphate shunt. All was quiet and for a moment, I was floating free in darkness; then mircaulously, (miracles were by this time mundane) I realized that my disembodied point of view had been reincarnated again, and was now embedded in the matrix of the newly reduced ribulose disphosphate/carbon dioxide complex; this unstable intermediate was rapidly falling apart into two molecules of phosphoglycerate which were grabbed and loaded on the merry-go-round by the first enzymes of the Calvin cycle. Dimly I struggled to remember my early botany lessons and put names to what I was seeing.

I recognized that I had entered the first phases of the pentose phosphate shunt, the biochemical pathway that builds the initial products of photosynthesis into complex sugars and sends them spinning from thence into the myriad pathways of biosynthesis that ultimately generate the molecular stuff of life.

ImageI felt humbled, shaken, exhausted and exalted all at the same time; suddenly I was ripped out of my molecular roller coaster ride, my disembodied eye was again suspended high over the Amazon basin. This time, therewas no world tree arising from its center, it looked much like it must looked from a space shuttle or a satellite in high orbit. The day was sunny, the vista stretching to the curved horizon was blue and green and bluish green, the vegetation below, threaded with shining rivers, looked like green mold covering an overgrown petri plate. Suddenly I was wracked with a sense of overwhelming sadness, sadness mixed with fear for the delicate balance of life on this planet, the fragile processes that drive and sustain life, sadness for the fate of our planet and its precious cargo. “What will happen if we destroy the Amazon,” I thought to myself, “what will become of us, what will become of life itself, if we allow this destruction to continue? We cannot let this happen. It must be stopped, at any cost.” I was weeping. I felt miserable, I felt anger and rage toward my own rapacious, destructive species, scarcely aware of its own devastating power, a species that cares little about the swath of destruction it leaves in its wake as it thoughtlessly decimates ecosystems and burns thousands of acres of rainforest. I was filled with loathing and shame.

Suddenly again from behind my left shoulder, came a quiet voice. “You monkeys only think you’re running things,” it said. “You don’t think we would really allow this to happen, do you?” and somehow, I knew that the “we” in that statement was the entire community of species that constitute the planetary biosphere. I knew that I had been given an inestimable gift, a piece of gnosis and wisdom straight from the heart/mind of planetary intelligence, conveyed in visions and thought by an infinitely wise, incredibly ancient, and enormously compassionate “ambassador” to the human community. A sense of relief, tempered with hope, washed over me. The vision faded, and I opened my eyes, to see my new found friends and hosts all eagerly gathered around me. The ceremony had officially ended a few minutes previously, I had been utterly oblivious to whatever was going on in the world beyond my closed eyelids. “How was it,” they wanted to know, “did you feel the buhachara (strange force)?” I smiled to myself, feeling overjoyed at the prospect of sharing the experience and knowing that I had indeed been allowed to experience the ultimate “force”, the vastly alien, incredibly complex molecular machine that is the “green fuse that drives the flower.

http://www.dmtsite.com/dmt/experience/d ... uasca.html
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 am

Trigger Warning

Aleister Crowley’s Secret Society of Magick and Excess

Aleister Crowley: The Sun (Self Portrait) 1920. In pre-Christian mythologies and in the mystical system of the Cabalah, 666 (the mark of the Beast from ‘Revelations’, his nickname) was associated with the sun. Courtesy Ordo Templi Orientis

Mr. Crowley’s Revival: Huckster Magick or a Radical Futurist?

Using the dialectic of “Scientific Illuminism,” Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) broke from his privileged English Christian brewer’s society, endeavoring to use what he called “magick” to expand consciousness and free one from the restraints that hold them back from a higher purpose. Detractors confused this ego-infused pan-sexual ritualism with black magic or Satanism, and he remains a divisive and controversial figure, despite a continuing Occult revival, as well as counter-culture adherents over the years that included John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Ozzie Osbourne, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Malcolm Lowry, William Burroughs, psychedelic band Hawkwind, Industrial Noise band Throbbing Gristle, and of course David Bowie.

This genius ceremonial magician dabbled in raunchy poetry, “trance” painting, witty, strange, and dark (some say incomprehensible) fiction, and scaling Mexican volcanoes and savage peaks of Pakistan for fun. He authored The Book of the Law (Liber Legis), a text dictated to him while on his 1904 honeymoon in Cairo by a supernatural entity or “praeterhuman” being named Aiwass, which became the central text the religion he founded called Thelema. This Law exhorts followers on a metaphysical level to “do what thou wilt,” and to align themselves with their True Will, their “higher calling,” through the practice of what he called magick.

I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” — Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

Crowley announced himself as the prophet of a new age, marking the 20th Century as the start of the Æon of Horus. Thelema asserted an overcoming of periods in history devoted to the Egyptian Great Goddess Isis (“Mother Earth” pagan) and the Egyptian patriarchal god Osiris (death worship and Christian glorification of suffering). The Aeon of Horus, the newly-born and awakened child god, sees humanity advancing upon a period of self-realization and self-actualization, with a nod toward the Age of Aquarius, which would serve as a 1960s-70s manifestation of Crowley’s tenets mixed with rock-star-hedonism.

Within the Thelemite religion, each of these aeons is believed to be “characterized by their [own specific] magical formula,” the use of which “is very important and fundamental to the understanding of Thelemic Magick.” It seems for Crowley, the formula worked, until it stopped working, and his egomania, substance abuse, and just general lack of disciplined willpower in a religion all about “the will,” became his undoing. Yet, his fame persists.

The Unveiling of the Company of Heaven: Thelema

Born Edward Alexander Crowley in 1875 to wealthy British Plymouth Brethren brewers, as a young man he set about replacing the fundamentalist Christianity of his family and culture with a variety of extreme endeavors, including sex magic and Western esotericism derived from a synthesis of Eastern religions, the Qabalah (Kabbalah), and ancient and modern demonology.

For a brief stint he was a member of the secret society the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Biographers suggested Crowley joined the Order under the command of British Intelligence agency MI-5 to monitor the activities of the group’s leader, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, who was known to be a Carlist. Crowley’s bisexuality and libertine lifestyle estranged him from prominent members like Irish poet William Butler Yeats, and he and Mathers ended up isolated from the group, which may have been his secret service role to begin with.

After much opium in China, climbing Kanchenjunga in Nepal which resulted in the death of a climber and several porters, losing his daughter to typhoid in Rangoon (and wife to alcoholism), reciting the “Bornless ritual” to his Holy Guardian Angel every night, and romances with miscellaneous actresses, authors, and seekers, led him to physical problems back in London around 1907. Thereafter, he and another founded A-A-, an occult order as a successor to the Golden Dawn. It’s members dedicated themselves to the transgressive advancement of humanity by perfection of the individual on every plane, employing universal initiations that mixed magick with Theraveda Buddhism and vedantic yoga, aiming to advance the notion of Scientific Illuminism.

Australian violinist Leila Waddell, a voluptuous beauty who became a famed Scarlet Woman (Goddess, Great Mother, Babalon) of Aleister Crowley, and a powerful historical figure in magick and Thelema in her own right.

He then kicked around Algeria in 1909 with his collaborator and lover Victor Neuberg, invoking complex Enochian magic, which involved angelic spirits. Critics point out Crowley’s methods were merely shorthand for its more comprehensive Qabalistic precursor, that it lacked sufficient protections for practitioners, leading to physical breakdowns, which one might argue kept happening to the “Beast” himself.

Gary Lachman recently wrote a more general critique of Crowley’s ego-tainted metaphysical practices in favor of the latter’s “cult of excess in all directions,” as friend Louis Wilkinson put it, as well as the problem of a mescaline/cocaine/heroin/hashish-infused “It’s all good,” way of being in the world. Some actions are clearly less good when one attempts to create themselves on a higher order of being for the good of humanity.

Crowley later returned to London to publicly perform the Rites of Artemis and Eleusis, introducing psychedelics to Europe with peyote (mescaline)-laced ceremonial symbolic magic rituals where A-A- embers personified certain deities, adding to his notoriety when the reviews covered his sexual interests and outed homosexual behavior for a number of his adherents.

After publishing the Book of Lies, what biographer Lawrence Sutin described as “his greatest success in merging his talents as poet, scholar, and magus,” he ended up joining forces with the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). With roots in European Freemasonry, its initiatory system has among its innermost reaches a set of teachings on sex magick. Through the ritual dramas, to which Crowley added homosexual practice (with some protest), inspired by Tantric schools of the East, calling initiates to use the immense potency of sexual energy to reach higher realms of spirituality.

When World War I broke out, Crowley headed for the US, where he began to publish hyperbolic support for Germany’s war with Britain, which he later argued made the stance seem ridiculous. Some assert again working for MI-5, he undermined the case for keeping the US neutral, by advocating for the German Navy to sink the Lusitania. Nevertheless, many saw his actions as traitorous to Britain.

More at: http://www.wilderutopia.com/landscape/m ... nd-excess/
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:02 am

A right wing Xtian perspective:


Exclusive: Joseph Farah explains Greek word tying opioids to 'the dark side'

I haven’t written much about the drug crisis raging in America and around the world today.

There’s a reason for that.

The issue is very personal to me. I watched haplessly, not that many years ago, as someone very, very close to me nearly let drugs destroy her.

This happened many years ago. I’m happy to say this person has fully recovered and is leading a happy and productive life free of drugs.

But that lost time cost her dearly – wasted years, imprisonment, pain, felony record, a child, relationships, things you can never get back.

I don’t even like to think about what she went through. It’s like a nightmare. But to see someone come back from the living dead is powerful. It’s a miracle.

In my experience, a strong spiritual life is the best prevention and the best cure. And prevention is a lot easier than the cure.

Drug addiction is obviously a barrier to getting closer to God – even when one realizes he has hit rock bottom. That’s because the quicker, easier, seemingly more expedient solution to that feeling for the drug addict is almost always another fix.

Why is God the answer? He’s the answer to most questions, but it’s more specific in the case of drugs because drug use is a flirtation with the dark side of the spiritual realm. It’s rebellion against God.

How do I know?

You may not think the Bible mentions drugs, but it does.

God condemns “sorcery” in the Scriptures. What is sorcery? Modern dictionaries define it as “the art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic; witchery.”

But in the Greek New Testament, the word translated “sorcery” is pharmakeia. Sound familiar? It’s where we get our English words “pharmacy,” “pharmaceuticals” and “pharmacopoeia.” That’s because sorcerers were not just casting spells with magic wands, they were “dealing in poison” and selling drugs. Sorcerers used drugs with their incantations and amulets to conjure occult power.

God hates sorcery.

It is associated with divination, enchantment, witchcraft, necromancy.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”

The prophet Malachi speaks of God’s judgment on those involved in sorcery: “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers …” (Malachi 3:5) There we see sorcery associated with judgment. Here, today, in 2018, we see the world consumed with a form of sorcery – drugs that alter the mind and attack the soul and body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

What’s most evil about drug use is the deception it causes – like all other forms of sorcery. We don’t hear much about sorcery today, but it’s all around us. We hear about it every day now with the opioid crisis that is ravaging the population – young and old – destroying lives, distorting reality, deceiving minds and souls.

How can it be stopped?

All I have to say about this subject can be summarized in these words: Share the love of God with those you love while you can. Don’t ever put it off for another day. You never know when you’re going to lose them to something like drugs or death.

When Jesus came, He cured people of all their pain and ills. He didn’t dispense drugs. He didn’t sell opioids. Instead, He touched them with the power of God.
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:10 am

Charles Manson: Music Myth Murder Mysticism Magick Magus Mayhem-A Look Back at the Untold Story of the Manson Family (or, More Manson than You’d Ever Want to Know)


The victims and the Manson family were not strangers, they had crossed paths many times. Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski ran in similar Laurel Canyon circles as Manson and his girls. They crossed paths at parties-Mama Cass and John Philips had acknowledged that Manson had been at their houses for parties more than once. (Papa John Phillips shows up in the background of many stories from both sides of this tale-Manson and Tate, but is rarely mentioned in any mainstream research-perhaps due to his rarely spoken of cloak and dagger military background which also included his parents and sister-insert Mamas and Papas song here. Don’t forget he also was the one who got the Process set up in their LA housing). Sharon, Roman, Gibby and Voytek also frequented the same parties, and lived close by-Abigail and Voytek across the street from Mama Cass actually. Hollywood elite have acknowledged that they had crossed paths with Manson many times. LA rock personalities were very familiar with Manson and his crew. Tex Watson and his drug circle intersected with Jay Sebring and Voytek Frykowski’s drug circle, with Joel Rostau as the nexus. Tex may have known those two before he even met up with the Manson family. Tex had been to parties at Cielo Drive. The idea that no one at the Polanski residence knew their killers is one of the myths that was pushed heavily at the trial, and leads one to wonder ‘why exactly did they push that angle?’. This idea still frames most of the information presented to this day. What were they trying to cover up?

Did Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger attend Esalen Institute at Big Sur while Charlie was there ‘auditioning’ for important persons-persons unknown to this day? They had called there right before, and that was usual drill-call up first and then show up. Were those two women instrumental in getting Charlie heaved out on his ass, killing his chances forever in becoming the rock star he dreamed of becoming? Did Patricia Krenwinkel accidentally let slip a little noticed clue when she told the parole board that they were sent to ‘get two women’ at Terry’s old house? This could go a long way to explaining the iron curtain of silence that immediately descended over the Esalen portion of the tale, the crucial week leading up to the massacres. A blinding rage fueled madness unleashed to get ‘revenge on the beautiful people’ who shunned him. Perhaps literally those people. This would be perhaps the closest guarded secret underlying the case. And as collateral karmic damage, Melcher certainly would have got the message-a massacre at his former house isn’t exactly subtle, much like the bullet left for Dennis Wilson.

So where does that leave us? Charlie never told. It is likely that some form of a truth yet to be told is contained on the still unreleased 1969 Tex Watson interview tapes, tapes that LAPD have fought diligently to keep from seeing the light of day. Tex clearly played a far larger part in this tale than has ever been acknowledged, and seems perhaps intentionally suppressed to keep the focus on Charlie. The lack of any publicity for Tex Watson, the guy who actually killed everybody in this tale, and a similar lack of mention of Voytek Frykowski as a lighting rod for trouble coming from different directions is definitely weird. Incredibly, nobody seemed to notice Manson stole his whole philosophy from the Fountain of the World, who lived literally next door. Helter Skelter may have been a loose philosophy only a few believed (Bruce Davis explicitly did not) or Helter Skelter may have been the convenient excuse for a rage induced revenge on the two folks that had spiked Charlie’s musical career. Hey, maybe it was only a night club. However, drugs, theft and large amounts of cash float ominously in the background, as do strange sex practices, underground Hollywood porn, Satanic trappings. It is clear that the people living at Cielo Drive were engaging in dangerous behavior and moving in circles with dangerous people that put them in harm’s way. Leaving aside the flirtations with the dark side of the occult on both the family side and the Cielo Drive side-threesomes filmed by Polanski with random strangers brought home from the Strip for one night sex romps combined with large amounts of drugs being bought and sold can bring large amounts of trouble. It is likely that on some level they were aware that they were pushing the envelope of danger, but were confident the elite cocoon of the glamorous life would provide some level of safety. Worried? Maybe.

The LaBiancas were worried about something. Their house had been broken into so many times and ransacked that they expected it every time they came home. What were people looking for, and did Manson finally decide that the couple had to be confronted in person to give up….what? A black book of numbers? Or large amounts of LSD as some researchers believe? Far fetched on the surface, yet Joel Rostau pops up in regards to Rosemary in several tales told at the time (his involvement in security fraud like some of Leno’s associates were gives another level of possible confluence of interest). Conflicting evidence as to when they were killed combined with fairly obvious evidence that they left the house at some point during the event would seem to back some of this up. Her reported estate value of over a million dollars would be consistent with a ‘cash only’ drug business. Leno LaBianca was likely involved with the mob through horse ownership and gambling, and that is an organization that knows how to keep things under wraps while getting what they want. He had skimmed over $100,000 dollars from Gateway Markets, a chain where he was an owning partner. What prompted this quote from Leno to his close friend Peter DeSantis in July of 1969: “I’ve got to get out of this town and can’t unless I can sell my shares. It’s a matter of life and death. I’m asking for my life.” The disappearance of neighbor Eddie Pierce, or the Phantom, a mob bookie living up the street from the LaBiancas eight days after the murder should raise some eyebrows. Someone had been after the LaBiancas, and no one was talking.

This article isn’t meant to be sympathetic to Manson or the Family. Nor is it a condemnation of the victims or their lifestyles. No matter what the victims were into, you can’t just sit up and say: “they had it coming”. I do wonder sometimes though. Like some of the occult activity around Led Zeppelin (chronicled here) a few years later, the involvement of the Process and the renegade O.T.O. chapter makes one wonder if some wayward but real black magick is responsible for nudging things in certain directions.

The plethora of motives covered here: Drug burn, murder for hire, copycat, Helter Skelter, revenge for failed music career, government operation–and everything else you can find once you go down the rabbit hole–one thing is sure, the tale we were told at the time, all neatly wrapped up nicely and officially in the Helter Skelter motive, something that got Manson locked up while others committed the murders, is still very much muddied to this day.

If the motive was to ignite a black versus white war as Bugliosi told us the Helter Skelter motive was, well Charlie did a pretty shitty job of it. Leave aside the hitchhiking as a getaway plan for a murder posse, one must ask “why quit after only twenty four hours of murder?” That isn’t really what I would call an effort in igniting a country wide social conflagration. The Family owning a few guns also works against this idea. While portions of Helter Skelter enter the tale as an influence, it still is a philosophy stolen verbatim from the neighboring commune, the Fountain of the World. And nobody said ‘boo’ about them, and they killed even more people than Charlie was charged with. As the full motive, Helter Skelter has been discarded by many researchers. There’s just too much weirdness in the background.

The Mob dances in the wings in both murders-the LaBiancas were mob associated, deep in debt (likely to the mob–the reason for Leno skimming over $100,000 from his own business). Leno had something people were after, his little black book of information is often spoken of, the key to the treasure and the map to where the bodies are buried so to speak, with the appropriate names and numbers therein. Much effort when in to ransacking the house. Rosemary’s name showing up in relation to large scale drug dealing is intriguing, as her past is much more colorful and checkered than the middle aged housewife portrayed in the trial. Large level drug transactions would not go unnoticed by an organization that controlled much of that traffic, so both the Cielo Drive crowd and any large scale deals on the LaBianca end would be noticed. The police thought drugs were at the root of the Tate murders, and evidence shows there is much more to this idea than was presented at the trial. Joel Rostau and Eugene Massaro were Mob associated drug dealers integral to the tale. Although the Mob are never discussed in relation to the case, the encounters Paul Watkins had with the Mob do show that underworld figures were directly involved in the events on some level, somehow this angle was completely ignored by Bugliosi. (ironically someone accused of Mob affiliations)

There have been ideas floated that Charlie and the Family were part of a much larger plan-a social experiment floated by some government agency. Leary’s Millbrook clan eventually were shown to have CIA connections only known to some. The early days of the Mel Lyman group likewise show some agency figures dancing in the background during the early days. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Manson was part of some larger plan-whether nefarious or benevolent, all three groups used LSD heavily as part of a plan to create new ways of thinking, and all three involved self contained groups isolating themselves through psychedelics from society, and all three were led by god-like gurus. The CIA had been shown to be experimenting in different fields with different groups with LSD, and much of this work is still classified to this day. So in view of some of the people dancing in the background, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they were part of some larger experimental plan. The early documentation of the Family under the aegis of Roger Smith, the use of the large and failed raid on Spahn as a training film example for law enforcement usage, and the professional documentary filmed as the family unraveled by Laurence Merrick and Robert Hendrickson combine to make a eye raisingly large amount of professional documentation for a single hippie commune.

The appearance of high powered lawyer George Shibley meeting with Manson just before his release, and Tex Watson’s nearly forty meetings with another pair of high powered attorneys: David DeLoach (a prominent Young Republican figure) and Perry Walshin over a single marijuana charge seems incongruous and got Mae Brussell’s attention, as did the appearance of Warren Commission senior counsel Joseph Ball advising Manson and Atkins. (factor in Lawrence Schiller recording a staged confession of Jack Ruby the day before he died-the same man who got Susan Atkins’ to turn states evidence and implicate Manson for a part of a $150,000 payout, and Ed Butler- a guy who wrote the first piece on the murders and had been one of the first to write about Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK’s assassination-and you can see how someone might see fingerprints of something nefarious lurking in the background). One easy question no one has answered is: ‘who was paying these guys?’ It is an odd confluence of pro bono work by all involved. In addition, law enforcement’s ‘hand’s off’ policy towards Manson should also raise an eyebrow or two. Even Bugliosi knew that not enough questions had been asked in certain areas, but was obviously clued in enough to avoid areas of investigation that were being actively buried.

Some folks out there know at least pieces of the truth. Dennis Wilson said several times he knew the truth, but would wait to speak when the time was right. That time never came, as he drowned before he could tell us. Manson certainly knew, but he has left the planet. Bruce Davis and Tex Watson probably have some higher version of the truth than us, but even they might not be privy to the secrets of the inner circle. Hell, Charlie may not even have known what was going down behind the scenes, just watched it all unfold with eyes wide shut, only smiling at everything he saw.

https://carwreckdebangs.wordpress.com/2 ... t-to-know/
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:25 pm

Part 2:

A Combined Integrative Experiential
and Non-Experiential Perspective


Some of the information that I have learned about Shambhala since writing my above article has induced me to engage in further research on Shambhala.
My previous Integral World article Is Shambhala a Cult? An Integrative Experiential Perspective [1], was based upon my own experiences in Shambhala. I concluded that Shambhala is not a cult, as I came to the conclusion that it was “mildly beneficial” from my experiential cult dangers analysis [1]. However, some of the information that I have learned about Shambhala since writing my above article, much of which was stimulated by various comments to my article [1], has induced me to engage in further research on Shambhala, aside from my own experiences, and what I have learned is quite alarming. In particular, two books that I have read about Shambhala, written by long-time Shambhala devotees Stephen Butterfield [2] and Christine Chandler [3], have explicitly described the intensive, excessive, and extensive mind-numbing practices that higher level Shambhala devotees were required to engage in for many years, including hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of prostrations, chantings, and tedious mandalas, culminating with total absorption of the guru into one's innermost being. Furthermore, Christine Chandler, who commented on my above article [1] and spent almost 30 years in two Tibetan Buddhist groups, one of which was Shambhala, described a number of very concerning sexual abuse instances involving Tibetan Buddhist teachers, inclusive of Shambhala, and their students. Chandler's book is chock full of detailed references to back up her claims, and in particular she included a reference to the 39 page courageous report written by an individual Shambhala member, of sexual abuse in Shambhala, which she also included in a comment to my above article [1]; this report is entitled Project Sunshine [4] (see below).

The Double Mirror: A Skeptical Journey into Buddhist Tantra Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism
After reading Butterfield's book The Double Mirror: A Skeptical Journey into Buddhist Tantra [2], I was repulsed by all the extensive prostrations, chantings, mantras, guru worship, ritualized formal hierarchy, nonsense-filled religious prayers, and exorbitant luxury that the gurus of Shambhala lived in. My reading of Butterfield's book was preceded by comments to my article [1] that stimulated me to learn about our historical knowledge of the Shambhala Rigden kings. Without going into detail, let me just say that the historical knowledge that I became familiar with was horrendous, full of brutal war-making and punishments, and opulent, exorbitant, waste of resources for these Rigden kings to live lives of luxury while the Tibetan peasants lived lives of poverty [5].

And then, to add to the churning that was going on inside of me, after nearly 2 months of no more comments on my article, I happened to check my article for a reference and there was a recent comment by Edmund Butler [1], full of very concerning accusations about the Shambhala monastery in Nova Scotia, involving physical assaults on him and even attempted murder through sabotaging his car, all because of his reporting of possible unpotable water at the facility [6]. Butler added three more long postings on my article that were taken from his blog [6], and included a response to my request for any information that anyone had about unethical practices of Trungpa's son Mipham, the guru of Shambhala since 1990, as I had found nothing negative about him in all my research about Shambhala, or in any of the comments to my above article. Although Butler did not report any concrete unethical behavior on the part of Mipham, he did say that Mipham refused to become directly involved in his situation, leaving it up to the director of Kasung, the military/guardian component of Shambhala [7], in the same way that he chose to not become involved in another Shambhala complaint [6]. Butler accused Shambhala of working very hard to keep things secret in the organization, not involving the police or outside investigations into criminal activity [6], and this reinforced Butterfield's descriptions [2] of the situation in the late 1980's withTrungpa's regent, Osel Tendzin (alias Thomas Rich), who had sexual relations with hundreds of Shambhala participants (mostly young men) while he had the aids virus, resulting in at least one death, and likely more deaths [8]. It was also interesting for me to read about Butterfield's personal associations with Tendzin, which brought this whole horrific scenario to life for me, and I began to shudder at what Shambhala was truly like as one progressed through their higher levels.

And finally, the stage was set for me to read Christine Chandler's book Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism [3], with over 500 pages and 700 references. Chandler begins with an excellent incisive account of Buddhist “tulkus” [9], who are what Buddhists believe are reincarnated beings from previous renowned and revered religious saints and seers, and how the tulku process involves taking a small child from “his” mother and family and isolating him in a monastery with a private tutor for his growing-up years, while he is worshiped by hundreds or even thousands of adoring crowds [3]. This was how all the Dali Lamas were chosen in Tibet, including the famous present one [10], as well as how the founder of Shambhala, Chogyam Trungpa, was chosen. But Chandler, who is a social worker and psychologist, and has specialized in the area of sexual abuse in family systems, gives an insightful and disturbing analysis of what it is actually like for this Tulku child, and how unhealthy it is to grow up like this, leading to severe deficiencies in the ability to relate to people socially and with caring, as well as leading to extreme self-indulgence and narcissism [3]. And in addition to reinforcing many of the repulsive (to me) practices in the higher levels of Shambhala that Butterfield [2] described, Chandler focuses extensively on the Shambhala false image of being “non-religious,” its male dominated practices, female subservience, and especially the frequent atrocious sexual violations in all of Tibetan Buddhism, inclusive of Shambhala, and this is where I first learned about Project Sunshine [3], [4]. Suffice it to say that by the time I finished Chandler's book, I was up to my neck in shock and abhorrence regarding Shambhala.

However, when I thought back to my actual experiences in Shambhala that I have described in detail in my above article [1], all this very alarming information felt so “unreal” to me. Thus I decided to make an effort to reconcile all this very alarming information that I had recently learned about Shambhala with my own actual experiences in Shambhala, utilizing the same kind of “integrative” perspective that I have used in a number of my previous articles [11]. And the first things that came up for me in this process were my preliminary disturbing red flags about Shambhala, most of which I have already mentioned in my previous article [1]. My preliminary disturbing red flags included the following:

my not feeling comfortable about going further with Shambhala
”serving” the Sakyong Shambhala guru, as part of the Rigden Shambhala vows
homage to the ancient Shambhala Rigden kings, inclusive of their war-making
Rigden director giving us our Shambhala names with far-reaching authoritative assumptions
subservient way that the Kasung (Shambhala military/security branch) officer helped the Rigden director on with his coat, and the subservient way that the other Shambhala directors seemed to be looking up to this Rigden director
the Christian-type rituals that the Level 5 director indulges in, and his conveying to us that Shambhala rituals, as well as chantings, will become more common as we proceed further in Shambhala
the more frequent e-mail communications and notices that I was receiving from Shambhala, which I now receive about every other day, or more often
being required to always wear my Shambhala pin at Shambhala functions, to display my having taken the Shambhala vows
the concern with my possible thinking that Shambhala is a cult, sent to me from one of the Shambhala assistants
the whole military/security branch of Shambhala, referred to as the Kasung, along with Trunga's love of dressing up in military uniforms and admiration for military generals
Trungpa's regent's horrific and extensive sexual abuse and infecting Shambhala members with aids, leading to at least one death and likely more deaths
the emphasis and requirement of ceremonial bowing, that increasingly became more prominent as I progressed through the Shambhala levels (and which Chandler [3] described as the pathway that leads higher level Shambhala students to the prostrations)
Osel Tendzin
Osel Tendzin (1943-1990)
When I first read Edmund Butler's [6] criminal accusations regarding the Shambhala retreat center in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada, known as Dorje Denma Ling, I thought that it was only fair to give Shambhala the benefit of the doubt, as perhaps this was just an isolated incident and not representative of the generic Shambhala organization. But Butler's description of how Shambhala refused to involve the police, in order to protect the organization from “dangerous” exposure, is very similar to what Chandler [3] described about how Shambhala operates in situations involving sexual abuse. There are also similar descriptions between Butler and Chandler in regard to violence in Tibetan Buddhism and Shambhala, as Chandler described how cars tried to force her vehicle off the road after her opposition to the Tibetan Buddhist political interests in Crestone, Colorado, as well as being thrown off a couch at a Shambhala event when she was not respectful enough of Sakyong Mipham. But what is the most repulsive to me of all that I have learned from reading Chandler's book [3], is that there is a Tibetan Buddhist center that follows the same lineage as Shambhala, less than 2 hours from where I live in Maine, that honors Trungpa's regent Osel Tendzin, and models their teachings directly from him [12]. And I believe this is approved of by Shambhala, with the blessings of Mipham, as in 2015 Shambhala commemorated the 25th anniversary of Osel Tendzin's death and honored him in The Shambhala Times, Shambhala's premiere magazine [13].

To give an illustration of what I consider to be the moral depravity and complete “crazy wisdom”[14] guru worship of the director of this Tibetan Buddhist center that pays homage to and follows the teachings of Tendzin, here is an excerpt from the center director's public statement defending Tendzin, written in March, 2016, part of which is included in Chandler's book [3] (pp. 293-294):

With each passing year the “narrative” on the Regent's actions grows more entrenched and enshrined as what actually happened. . . no one seems to approach this from the point of view of the lineage's teachings on the Guru Disciple relationship and samaya. . . One cannot view the Regent as an ordinary person nor what happened in a conventional way without violating one's samaya vow to the lineage of Trungpa Rinpoche. He was chosen specifically by the Vidyadhara and he was trained and given complete authority. . . . Ultimately it is impossible for “ordinary” people like us to understand what is actually happening in situations like these. The least we could have done would have been to not jump—to not denigrate the Regent. Our lineage history is full of situations like this. At the time that Guru Ripoche killed two “innocent” people by dancing on the palace roof and dropping his vajra and Khatavanga—everyone who heard the story must have thought he was guilty and should be put to death. Everyone knows the story—there was a miracle and people changed their minds about Guru Rinpoche. That is generally the way it works in our lineage. Well, there was a miracle with the Regent too—which should have changed minds—his body stayed in Samadhi for 3 days after his physical “death.” There were rainbows during his cremation. In the past, these types of displays of realization would have been understood to demonstrate that the “conventional view” is not what we are dealing with here. . . The main lesson here is to understand the difference between fools and realized beings—and follow the instruction of realized beings. [15]
Well there is not much I can add to this, except to say that according to Chandler [3], these “actions” of the “realized being” Thomas Rich, also known as Osel Tendzin, involved having unprotected sex in his private quarters with at least two of his young male Shambhala students every day, including when he knew that he had contacted the aids virus.

Project Sunshine
However, there is also a bright side to this whole contorted Shambhala mess—and the bright side (excuse the pun) is Project Sunshine [4]. I joined the Project Sunshine facebook page and posted my Integral World Shambhala article [1] and some questions about the current practices for higher level Shambhaal students, in terms of all the prostrations, chantings, mandalas, and guru worship. I wasn't sure how Project Sunshine would respond, as this site is primarily for Shambhala members with concerns about sexual abuse in Shambhala. But I am very pleased and appreciative with the series of responses that I received, that evolved into a number of conversations between people about the cult dangers of Shambhala. And it is precisely this openness to criticism, and free dialogue atmosphere, that is the best remedy I can think of to guard against cult dangers in any organization. One thing that I have learned, from an African American Shambhala teacher in New York City, is that apparently there is more flexibility about these higher level Shambhala practices in recent years. This particular teacher also responded with shock and sincere alarm to the posting of Edmund Butler about the violence he experienced in Shambhala [6].

In regard to my question about if there has been any serious unethical conduct on the part of Mipham, I still hold to the opinion that there has been nothing blatantly amiss in this regard. From what I have gathered from both Butler and Chandler's accounts of Mipham, the current guru of Shambhala won't take risks that could go astray for Shambhala, even if it is the “right” thing to do, and he is (according to Chandler) dull, ordinary, formal, uncaring (in particular to his severely handicapped brother (and tulku) who Chandler and her husband took care of for over 6 years), self-centered, skilled at hiring second generation computer-savy Shambhalilans to market Shambhala to the world, and lives in luxury. Chandler also described how he “shared” women with his father, but this was before he got married and became a family man, when he was in his 20's. So putting this all together, it appears that Mipham may not be the most exciting or caring of gurus, but he does seem to have at least not indulged in unethical sexual practices with his Shamahala students, and he is widely known as a teetotaler. However, one commentator on Project Sunshine posted a comment to my previous Integral World essay on Shambhala [1], mentioning that in her experience, Mipham was both unethical and mistreated women. I asked her for more information about this but did not hear back from her; and unless I hear otherwise, I certainly have not learned anything to warrant me jumping to her conclusion about Mipham.

To give an illustration of the richness, depth, and valuable information that I learned from some of these Project Sunshine commentators, the following are some of the responses (with a few grammatical edits) that I received from my Project Sunshine posting, which included a link to my previous Integral World article [1]:

I so appreciate your analysis and personal experience. I felt like I was reading my own journal for your level 1-3 thoughts. I have not found it possible to discuss higher level trainings with other Shambhalians. I have been told it's forbidden to reveal what is practiced at the higher levels. Which makes further involvement unattractive to me, although I suppose others could find it enticing.
Thank you for sharing this. . . I enjoyed reading it and learning about your experiences and reflections that you expressed so honestly. I very much liked how your method of integrative experiential, definition of cult and Bonewits scale for analysis were clear and accessible as well. It would be interesting to have multiple people with different backgrounds and experiences and who are from different places and in different “stages” of practice/training in the community (a cross-section if you will) undertake a similar exercise and see how they compare. I thought of this because (based on many of my own experiences as someone who was born into this community and has generally remained with it at 33—with my own doubts, of course), was personally quite surprised that many of the categories were rated so low from your own experience. I am certain considering the experiences of those of different genders, races, abilities, cultures, nations, etc. would shed some different light on the community too (obviously). I remember taking a few courses in my undergrad on comparative religion and the sociology of contemporary cults and naturally (being from the community) always had Shambhala hovering in my mind while working through the course material, so I found it cool to see someone with your training/profession, background, experience and analysis applied to the Shambhala community context. Maybe a decade ago I did a research project for an undergrad thesis and interviewed some community members about their views on gender inequities in Shambhala and gendered religious symbolism and language. I looked at how community members reconciled gender issues in the community with their understandings and articulations of the Shmabhala- Buddhist teachings, etc. Anyway, thanks for offering this here and glad you are finding more information to round out your previous assessment. I look forward to seeing your follow up article on Integral World!
One does not have to become a Vajrayana practitioner to be a Shambhala Guide or even teach (at least at the NYC Center), but each center is different and somewhat autonomous. I am a Vajrayana practitioner and it was very important for me to make that decision on my own and not be pressured. No one did. I knew I wanted the Sakyong as my teacher but I was very wary of “old school” Shambhala Vajrayana students who seemed unnecessarily mean, unkind, cold, exclusive, and remote. I actually found my inspiration to go forward with the Vajrayana path from talking to a dear friend who is a lama in the Kaguy tradition and a friend who is part of a Rime tradition in NYC that is mostly Nepali and Tibetan people. What you describe in your OP is not “Shambhala” but rather a part of the Indo-Himalayan tradition. I've always envisioned Shambhala being an open society with Vajrayana practitioners in the minority. I think we are also moving toward expanding the definition of teacher. However, Acharyas and Shastris are lineage holders, so yes, they have to be Vajrayana practitioners. But here are folks in the NYC sangha who teach Shambhala Training and are not Vajrayana practitioners. As a matter of fact, one is a Christian pastor. I also want to say that from the outside, the practices you mention can seem weird, especially for white folks steeped in the “rational” west. These are ancient and profound practices that are. . . sort of odd out of context. However, they are nothing you “have” to do, or at least shouldn't be. Shambhala is definitely not a cult: too disorganized, too poor, to open (in many ways), and I have seen no real pressure to become a Vajrayana in my 13 years. However, I think certain forms of adoration can seem like that.
A long time ago, I bought a book called Guru Yoga, it seemed relatively straightforward but also totally bizarre. It wasn't until I actually practiced guru yoga that I had an embodied experience and it changed my conception. It was the same with reading Sacred Path of the Warrior. I recently met with a student who was asking about all these terms: warriorship, spaciousness, drala, authenticated presence. We talked about the terms, but what I said to him was these are experiential terms as well and once he is introduced to those teachings (he is about to take Weekend 1) we might begin to have different conversations. One thing you might do is talk to younger and newer Vajrayana practitioners. My experience has been that we have been more critical about our engagement with these practices and that there is lots of room for questions or stopping. I sometimes feel that really old-time Vajrayana students don't have the patience for what some of us are asking, but we still do. We have autonomy, no one can force you to do anything. And my sense is that the Sakyong doesn't want a million Vajrayana students. I think spreading the reality of basic goodness both in Shambhala and out and making Enlightened Society and reality (in and out of Shambhala) is far more important than becoming a Vajrayana practitioner. I hope that helps.
There are books on the practices of ngondro you can read, but I would say, like all meditation practices, they are something you should experience before writing about them or denigrating them. . . . For me, as a person of African descent, they actually felt quite familiar, powerful, and very right. But we have to use our win discernment. Again, no one should be pressured to go anywhere on the Shambhala path. . . . I think there has been a big change in the last 10 years, but there is lots of karma and klesha around the path. I found having a solid MI [meditation instructor] who cared about me and not about an agenda, was one of the most important supports I had on the path.
I should also add that from your write-up, you are likely Shambhala's “type”--educated, intellectual, not as much body focused, middle-aged or above, and white. You might have had a different feeling of comfort if you weren't their type. The cultish behavior only starts being obvious from Rigden on, FYI. The vow to serve the Sakyong is something new, in the last 5 years. I, along with a few in my Rigden class, refused to take it. It was a general revolt— everyone agreed with the Shambhala principles, but why use that wording? From then on, that weekend was called the “Rocky Rigden” and it was discussed up the hierarchy and from then on they invited people to talk about the vow beforehand, so as to give time for people to make justifications and interpretations like you did. The thing is, less intellectual people would likely not have made interpretations like you. They could have chosen different wording—like serving a vision, valuing the Sakyong, etc. They didn't. And as I said, it's new. So why? I did one or two on from Rigden and I found less “meat” each time. Having been on other Buddhist retreats and done much reading on Buddhist thought and Advaita Vedanta, it did feel both oversimplified and sold, presented like it was magical. The cost just didn't justify it. So I came to India for my meditation—so much cheaper. I wrote about it here:
As to aligning myself to to another living being by way of vows. . . No way! Remember to take what works and drop the rest like a hot rock.
I would like to note that rejecting CTR's [Trungpa's] toxic behavior does not mean that we have to reject the teachings. It likely means that we need to dig even deeper into his teachings to see if there are patriarchal and/or misogynistic flaws, but digging deeper and questioning is a good thing, and is exactly what the teachings of clear seeing and authenticity call on us to do. . . . I was always and emphatically guided at my local center to not accept teachings as gospel, but to evidence them through practice. The value of the teachings are evidenced in their application, not in the teacher.
I think it is very important for Shambhala International to be explicitly clear that CTR's behavior was toxic and abusive. If it clearly condemns that which is reprehensible, as we have seen firsthand accounts evidenced here, then that sets the ground that it is safe and encouraged to call out abuse as no teacher is beyond reproach. As long as CTR's harmful actions are wrapped in the false robes of “crazy wisdom” then it leaves doubt in the minds of those who experience troubling behavior whether or not they will be believed coming forward. I know I would have no trust in an organization that claims to wisdom that cannot clearly differentiate between a circle and square.
And one of my Project Sunshine responses informed me that the Shambhala higher-ups were not particularly well-disposed to the open-ended sharing about sexual abuse in Shambhala that Project Sunshine has stimulated, and referred me to the statement put out by Lady Diana (Diana Mukpo), the ex-wife of Trungpa [16], in The Shambhala Times, as follows:

This has been a very dark don season for many people. It has exposed a tremendous amount of pain that people have experienced both in the Shambhala community and in the greater world. Having the Shambhala community as the focal point for the majority of my life, I have witnessed numerous times when many members of our community, myself included, have not been protected in a way that reflects our ideals and strengths. Culturally we are are at a powerful moment in time, which allows women a voice to express their pain. This has not always been the case in the past. We have a responsibility to one another to facilitate a conversation that is actually of benefit to our community and therefore the greater world.
Distortion of facts is extremely damaging and is counterproductive for this process. While I respect the need for everyone who has experienced trauma to find a way to be heard and to find healing, that does not absolve us of the poison of presenting assumptions and untruths. This has caused a great deal of pain and confusion and this is what I need to address.
When I first heard about Project Sunshine I thought it would be a wonderful way to embark on this important process. But now that I've seen its connection to the spreading of inaccurate, misleading facts, I no longer have faith in its ability to assist with this important task in an unbiased and honest manner. Embarking on the process of healing is a greater call to our sangha to come together and address these issues. This process is being hindered by a personal agenda to launch an attack on the Mukpo family. . . . When and where a transparent, measured, and responsible accounting of the facts shows that misconduct or abuse has taken place, or that the response of administrators and teachers has failed to adequately protect and care for those who were harmed, I am committed to healing and acknowledgment, even if that requires consequences for those at fault. But our tradition is not one that allows for mindless mob justice spun from aggression and half-truths….we are committed to finding the correct forum for this process to take place.
And here are some of the responses to Lady Diana's statement, that did not take her criticism of Project Sunshine in stride:

Prior to reading this statement I hadn't heard of project Sunshine. I looked it up and read the report. It seems to be objective and solution-focused. Is there another forum related to project Sunshine where the biases are showing through?
I had this same question. This letter and the Kalapa Council statement seem to have been dropped into the community without any context. Then the Shambhala Day broadcast was very odd. I am a center director and had no direct communication from Shambhala leadership about what these items were referring to. It gave me the uncomfortable feeling that there were things being alluded to but not talked about outright and I as a center leader had no information. Not until later did I hear anything about the Facebook discussions. Not everyone is on Facebook regularly. I would have hoped that if there was something my community should know about, center directors would have been informed. I'm hoping there will be more communication going forward.
Lady Diana, Thank you for your letter. As a gay man I have been hurt and ridiculed by the Shambhala many, many times. At what point do people like me get to share in the concept of “Basic goodness”? How do I heal?
Greetings all, I echo. . . experience of the Kalapa letter and Shambhala Day coming without context given to leadership in local centers. . . I too had never heard about the Sunshine Project and so read the report. . . I found it to be grounded, sane and caring. The report begins with statements of support for it from Agness Au, Judy Lief and Judith Simmer Brown [highly recognized leaders in Shambhala]. I didn't hear an attack on the Mukpo family or a sense of vendetta. No one was named in the stories shared. As a long time community member I have heard friends' stories of being subject to, and have had my own direct experiences of, sexual misconduct by teachers, leaders and fellow community members. I have witnessed the circling of the wagons by leadership, denials and dismissal, ostracizing and silencing take place when people have spoken up on this. And other uncomfortable topics—like money, power, class, and diversity. Even as I write this I have to debate whether it is “safe” to use my full name, for now it doesn't feel so. This is a great opportunity for us to open, to listen, to hopefully heal rather than perpetuate harm.
Dear Lady Diana, Thank you for your wise words. My question is this: I do wonder why you make the accusation of the Sunshine Project's “connection to the spreading of inaccurate, misleading facts”? In a world in which 1 in 3 women reports having experienced sexual violence in her lifetime, I rather fear that the cases reported on will only be the tip of the iceberg. May deep healing processes be supported in all communities effected by sexual violence.
And finally, here is a response from Edmund Butler [6], who has been very active on the Project Sunshine forum, and whose response I am in agreement with, and I believe tersely and effectively sums up Lady Diana's statement:

That letter is a Kalapa Council sanctioned broadside across the bow of Project Sunshine and the victims which are given refuge by this vessel, in case anybody is unclear. Just saying—it's blatant victim shaming, fundamentally “unshambhalian” and does nothing to restore the faith in our Administrators. It puts the lie to the Council's *SIMULTANEOUS* [sic] February 12th letter where they ask for forgiveness for poorly administering the systemic, criminal abuse in the Sangha on which this Project sheds such a clear light.
Christine Chandler [3] is convinced that Tibetan Buddhism has the mission to take over the world and convert all religions to its medieval hierarchical authoritarian format, and that Shambhala is at the forefront of this, very effectively inducing multitudes of Western academic and clinical professionals to lead the effort through the popularization of mindfulness meditation [17]. She may very well be right about this, but in my integrated perspective I need to think back to what I have actually experienced in my own mindfulness meditation practice, both in Shambhala and elsewhere.

As I discussed in my previous Shambhala article [1], I found the mindfulness meditation in my Shambhala workshops to be relaxing and therapeutic, and it was similar to the experiences that I have had with mindfulness meditation in other contexts. But I believe that the crucial aspect here is what happens “after” one engages in mindfulness meditation. There is no doubt that, as Chandler repeatedly claims [3], our current mindfulness meditation explosion was initially stimulated and orchestrated by Eastern gurus, and Trungpa and Shambhala have been major forces in this, though I think that a bigger force has been the widespread mindfulness-based stress reduction “non-religious” successful promotion by Jon Kabat-Zinn [17]. But unlike Chandler, I happen to think that there is a great deal of benefit to the inclusion of mindfulness in our American culture, especially in the present internet-addicted Trump era that we are currently living in [18]. From a number of Chandler's comments [3], it appears to me that politically she is both a Republican and Trump supporter, and her continuous praising of our American capitalist system runs very foreign to me. I will go so far as to openly say that I welcome a healthy intrusion of Eastern Buddhism to our American capitalist system, but of course without all the destructive and dangerous practices that I have been discussing in this essay. Yes I also understand what Chandler is saying about how excessive hours of mindfulness meditation have the potential to make one more susceptible to the dictates of unethical gurus [3], [19]. But on the other hand, it is also quite possible to use mindfulness meditation in healthy productive ways, and this is what I have experienced in my actual Shambhala training workshops, and what my wife has experienced in her mindfulness-based stress reduction workshops [17].

In spite of all the serious dangers of Shambhala that I have discussed in this essay, primarily at the higher levels, which I will certainly never do, when I think back to my actual experiences with Shambhala I still feel that Shambhala has been beneficial and comforting to me. But the bottom line for me is that I need to feel like I can be “myself” in Shambhala. Thus far, I have been able to voice my concerns in Shambhala workshops, about Trungpa, the regent Tendzin, “serving” the Sakyong as part of the Shambhala Rigden vows, reciting a chant of homage to the Rigden kings as part of the same ceremony, and about my spiritual agnosticism as I proceeded through the Shambhala levels, and it has all been taken in stride and accepted by the Shambhala higher-ups. And the responses that I have received from the Shambhala Project Sunshine members, as I described above, have been heartwarming and very informative to me, and I very much have appreciated all their understanding, support, personal sharing, and information. But sooner or later, and it may have already occurred, my concerns about Shambhala that I have described in both of my Integral World articles will come to the attention of the Shambhala higher-ups. What I have decided is that I am open to taking part in Shambhala mindfulness meditation workshops without the religious beliefs tagged on, and without any expectations that I engage in prostrations, chantings, mandalas, and guru worship. Furthermore, I would only participate in future Shambhala workshops if I am able to openly talk about the concerns that I have described here, to anyone I choose to, in or out of Shambhala.

Finally, based on what I have recently learned about Shambhala, one may ask: how does my previous cult dangers analysis of Shambhala [1] now fare? Can I still conclude that Shambhala is “mildly beneficial?” Well an immediate thing to consider here is that my cult danger analysis of Shambhala was experiential, and what I have subsequently learned about Shambhala is not based on what I have experienced in Shambhala (aside from the responses that I have received from the Project Sunshine members), but of course I cannot ignore what I have learned. Thus my ratings will certainly be different from what they were, so let me take a brief stab at a new cult dangers analysis of Shambhala. Based upon the categories that I previously utilized in my cult dangers analysis of Shambhala [1], here are my new numerical values, just focusing upon the seven (out of 15) categories and numbers that I am changing [and in the original table printed in bold type, FV].

Sexual Manipulation: previous: 1; current: 5
Endorsement of Violence: previous: 1; current: 3
Wealth: previous: 3; current: 5
Surrender of Will: previous: 2; current: 5
Censorship: previous: 1; current: 5
Recruiting: previous: 3; current: 4
Paranoia: previous: 2; current: 4
Total: previous: 47; current: 65
Average: previous: 3.1; current: 4.3
Bonewits Cult Danger Scale ratings of Shambhala (updated)
1 Internal Control 1
2 Wisdom Claimed 9
3 Wisdom Credited 9
4 Dogma 9
5 Recruiting 4
6 Front Groups 2
7 Wealth 5
8 Political Power 1
9 Sexual Manipulation 5
10 Censorship 5
11 Dropout Control 1
12 Endorsement of Violence 3
13 Paranoia 4
14 Grimness 2
15 Surrender of Will 5
Total: 65
Average 4.3
The cult dangers categories that I have previously used in my Modern Religions book [20] are as follows: High Cult Danger, Moderate Cult Danger, Minimal Cult Danger, Neutral, and Favorable.

Based upon these above changes in my scores and the respective numerical ratings that I assigned from my experiences in other modern religious group [20], I must now place Shambhala in the Minimal Cult Danger category. For a brief explanation of the above changes in my scores: the sexual manipulation and abuse in Shambhala certainly did not end in the 1980's like I thought, as it has been prevalent throughout its history, enough to warrant a great deal of present exposure and communication, as can be seen from the Project Sunshine report and forum [4]; there are indications of endorsement of violence in Shambhala, as conveyed in the accounts of Edmund Butler in his blog [6], as well as Christine Chandler in her book [3]; I have learned more about the living in luxury lifestyle of the Shambhala guru Mipham; the higher levels of Shambhala apparently have the goal of complete surrender of one's will to the guru; there is much more censorship in Shambhala than I had realized, as conveyed by a number of participants in the Project Sunshine forum, as well as by the letter from Lady Diana criticizing Project Sunshine [16]; the internet mailings I receive from Shambhala have increased in frequency, as I now receive a Shambhala e-mail every day or two; I have learned that Shambhala is very concerned about public leakage of controversial incidents within the organization. And let me be very clear that my perspective here encompasses both the Shambhala higher levels as well as the Shambhala preliminary levels. Certainly there is a very real possibility that anyone who engages in the Shambhala preliminary levels may proceed to the Shambhala higher levels, but it is also quite possible that Shambhala participants, like myself, may consciously decide to keep their experiences with Shambhala to these preliminary levels. Thus I am trying to cover ground here in both territories, but if I just focused on the higher Shambhala levels then my cult dangers score for Shambhala would be high enough to move Shambhala into the Moderate Cult Danger category.

So what is my conclusion to this more far-reaching study of Shambhala that I have undertaken since my previous Integral World article on Shambhala? Well there is no doubt that I have learned that there are indeed cult dangers in Shambhala, and very alarming, destructive practices regarding sexual abuse, which by no means ended 25 years ago. There is no way that I will proceed any further with Shambhala in regard to doing their higher level courses. I have learned that virtually all of my misgivings about Shambhala that I discussed in my Integral World previous article, as well as new alarming information that I have subsequently learned about, are all too real. This includes the violent and luxury living history of the gurus and Rigden kings of Shambhala; the esoteric and nonsense-filled (to me) content of their higher level teachings; the sexual abuse and violations committed by Shambhala teachers to their students; the apparent occurrence of violence in Shambhala on some occasions; and the extensive and intensive practice of prostrations, chantings, and mandalas in the higher levels of Shambhala, culminated by complete absorption of the guru into one's self identity.

After all these learnings, one may very well ask why I would ever consider doing anything further in Shambhala, at any level. And my answer is largely wrapped up with the beauty that I have seen in the free spirit of Shambhala, that has emerged in all its glory in many of the actual members of Shambhala, as evidenced in Project Sunshine. Project Sunshine is a wonderful and inspiring example of this, as is the courage of the Shambhala members who dared to publicly counter Lady Diana in her statement of criticism of Project Sunshine. These Shambhala members remind me of the genuine feeling of comradeship that I felt through my Shambhala levels, as we were all meditating and believing in the worthwhile goal of working toward an enlightened society. As I remarked above, I don't know how the higher-ups in Shambhala will respond to all that I have included in this essay. But if it turns out that I am still accepted in Shambhala, then I can see being open to continuing to engage in mindfulness meditation at Shambhala workshops, though not at the higher Shambhala levels. And who knows—perhaps all the courageous and honest communications of the participants of the Project Sunshine forum will significantly reduce the cult dangers of Shambhala so that in some future time, I could do yet another analysis of cult dangers in Shambhala and find that from my combined integral experiential and non-experiential perspective, that Shambhala has moved into the Neutral category, or perhaps even back into the Mildly Beneficial category. I am an optimist and idealist at heart, and I will therefore end this essay on this positive note.

1) See Elliot Benjamin (2017), Is Shambhala a Cult? An Integrative Experiential Perspective. Retrieved from http://www.integralworld.net

2) See Stephen Butterfield (1994), The Double Mirror: A Skeptical Journey into Buddhist Tantra. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

3) See Christine Chandler (2017), Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

4) See Andrea Winn (2018), Project Sunshine: Final Report: A Firebird Year Initiative to Bring Light and Healing to Sexualized Violence Embedded Within the Shambhala Community: February 27, 2017 – February15, 2018. Retrieved from http://www.andreamwinn.com

For a 2016 article in The Shambhala Times that stimulated comments by a number of young women who conveyed their disturbing experiences of being treated condescendingly and disrespectully by male “elders” in Shambhala, and can be viewed as a mild precursor to Project Sunshine, see Amanda Hester (2016), Voice of Dissent in The Shambhala Times. Retrieved from shambhalatimes.org/2016/03/23/voice-of-dissent/

For a 2018 article in the well-known Buddhist magazine Tricycle about the sexual abuse in Shambhala conveyed through the Project Sunshine report, see Wendy Joan Biddlecombe (2018), Shambhala International Owns Up to Past Abuse, but What comes Next Remains Unclear. Retrieved from https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambhala-abuse

For a 2018 article in the mainstream magazine Newsweek about this same topic, see Tom Porter (2018), Buddhist Group Admits 'Abhorrent Sexual Behavior' by Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/buddhist-group- ... ers-830333

5) See Victor & Victoria Trimondi (2003), The Shadow of the Dalai Lama—Part 1 – 10: The Aggressive Myth of Shambhala. Retrieved from http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-1-10.htm

In Christine Chandler's book [3] she describes some extremely horrific practices of punishment for minor crimes in Old Tibet; these horrific practices of punishment resemble the horrors of ISIS and I won't describe them in detail here (see Chandler's book [3]), but they are extremely antithetical to the public image of the “peaceful” warrior of Shambhala.

6) See Edmund Butler's blog at https://shambhalacrime.wordpress.com

7) For a description of the Shambhala Kasung see https://gampoabbey.org/commjunity/kasung

8) For information about Osel Tendzin in relation to his affecting his Shambhala students with aids, see tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2010/05/tibetan-roulette.html

9) For a description of tulkus, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulku

10) For information from Wikipedia about the current 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Dalai_Lama

For more disturbing portrayals of the current 14th Dalai Lama, see Victor & Victoria Trimondi (2003), The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism. Retrieved from http://lust-for-life.org; and see the Dalai Lama chapter in Geoffrey Falk (2009), Stripping the Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment. Million Monkeys Press.

11) See the related references to my integrative perspective Integral World articles in [1].

12) See the website for the Dzogchen Meditation Center in Bath, Maine at http://www.dzogchenmeditatio.com

13) See a description of this celebration at http://www.satdharma.org/pdf/PSTL-PersonalStatement.pdf

14) For a description of crazy wisdom in religious traditions, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_madness; see a number of articles on the Integral World website at http://www.integralworld.net on the topic of the dangers of crazy wisdom as applied by gurus Adi Da and Andrew Cohen. See also Geofrrey Falk [10] for a scathing and alarming exposé about the dangers of unethical gurus using crazy wisdom in a multitude of religions—both ancient and contemporary.

15) See the full letter from the Dzogchen Meditation Center director, Tashi Armstrong, at https://www.facebook.com/dzogchenmedita ... 1572136915

16) See the full letter from Lady Diana in the Shambhala Times at https://shambhalatimes.org/2018/02/12/l ... lady-diana

17) For a description of the history and practices of mindfulness-based stress reduction,.see Jon Kabat- Zinn (2011), Some Reflections on the Origins of MBSR, Skillful Means, and the Trouble with Maps, Contemporary Buddhism, Vol. 12, No. 1.

18) See my articles on both internet addiction and Trump at the Integral World website at http://www.integralworld.net

19) For a description of some of the pitfalls of excessive mindfulness, see Uptal Dholakia (2016), The Little-Known Downsides of Mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... s-practice ; and David Brendel (2015), There are Risks to Mindfulness at Work. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/02/there-are-risks ... ss-at-work

20) See Elliot Benjamin (2013), Modern Religions: An Experiential Analysis and Exposé. Winterport, Maine: Natural Dimension Publications.
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:32 pm

Authoritarian cults are real but this does not let the merely cultish off the hook, nor the very serious problems that may be normalized under the banner of organized religion more generally.
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Marionumber1 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:24 am

One of the lesser known details about Charles Manson, which is of interest to me, is the possible link to the Franklin scandal. Manson actually spent a couple days at Boys Town, from which Larry King lured children into his pedophile network (Omaha World-Herald, "That time Charles Manson came to Boys Town", 2017/02/10):

In the old photo, a teenage boy smiles as he grips a judge’s hand.

“Charles Manson, 14, a ‘dead end kid’ who has lived in an emotional ‘blind alley’ most his life, is happy today,” reads the Indianapolis News story from March 1949. “He’s going to Boys Town.”

Today, few Omahans know that Manson, the infamous cult leader convicted of orchestrating the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in California, spent a brief stint at Father Edward Flanagan’s children’s home. Details of his time here are scarce. Manson ran away after just a few days.

But Lawson McDowell, a 66-year-old local author and retired director of network operations at Union Pacific, spent more than a year corresponding with the imprisoned Manson, researching his historical fiction book, “Before He Became a Monster: A Story of Charles Manson’s Time at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town,” published in 2013.


McDowell’s book tells the story of how Manson came to stay at Boys Town and what happened during his time there, blending real and imagined events. The episode is shrouded in uncertainty, and Manson himself gave cryptic answers to some of McDowell’s questions.

What is certain is that Manson’s admittance to Boys Town was meant to turn his life around.


Manson remembered his time in Omaha fondly and vividly, McDowell said. He could recall, for example, the name of a nun who confiscated his cigarettes and specific architectural details about the Boys Town campus. Overall, McDowell said, Manson gave the impression that he appreciated what the children’s home had tried to do for him.

So why run away? McDowell asked, over and over. Manson, he said, never gave a clear answer.

I've been meaning to get McDowell's book, but in the meantime, we have this interesting comment by McDowell in an interview:

He [Manson] fled for reasons never fully explained. It was a mystery that intrigued me. The things that happened at Boys Town changed the course of history in a darker direction for Manson.

Besides just pedophilia, Boys Town was also identified by John DeCamp as being involved in mind control experimentation (American Free Press, "Peculiar Ties Connect Boys Town to CIA", 2003 -- I have some serious problems with AFP as a news source, but this is merely an interview):

I had a visitor from the federal public defender’s office in Las Vegas. They called me and said: “I think we have a common interest.” They said: “Well, you know about a place called Boys Town.”

I responded: “You federal prosecutors have been part of the problem, helping to cover up what’s going on there.”

They said, “Would you be willing to meet with us?”

I agreed and they were there the next morning waiting at my office door.

They were representing a fellow named Paine who is on death row in Las Vegas. He had a bad habit of killing taxi drivers. This Paine had a number of brothers and they had all been raised in Boys Town. When Paine was convicted it turned out that, as they explained it to me, he was a multiple personality that was deliberately created.

In other words, someone had used psychiatric techniques and sexual abuse to alter this young man’s mind.

Yes, and this happened at Boys Town. The story he told was that all of these mind control experiments were being carried out.

Manson, of course, is suspected by many researchers of being a mind control subject.

There's also the weird fact that the Manson Family's home at the Spahn Ranch was extraordinarily close to the L.A. home of an elite Omaha businessman: E. John Brandeis. He was the uncle of Alan Baer, identified as one of the most notorious child abusers in the Franklin scandal. In 1929, E. John Brandeis bought a ranch in Chatsworth CA, also taking up residence there. Movies were produced on the Brandeis Ranch from the early 1930s until 1949, after which E. John Brandeis closed it off. Three major ranches -- the Spahn Ranch, Iverson Ranch, and Brandeis Ranch -- were all in the same area of Chatsworth. The Iverson and Brandeis ranches were directly adjacent, and Iverson and Spahn ranches could be seen from each other. Did residents of the Spahn and Brandeis ranches ever run into each other?

A Navajo goods trader claims that he was hired by E. John Brandeis to replace his inventory after a 1970 fire, and after leaving the Brandeis Ranch, he narrowly avoided running into the Manson Family, who was arrested a few weeks later. However, the Family was actually arrested in 1969, so his timeline is off. Nevertheless, it intrigues me a lot that Manson, a former Boys Town resident, ended up establishing his Family's home on a ranch so close to one of Omaha's leading businessmen. Might E. John Brandeis have been one of Manson's intelligence handlers and/or informants?
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Elvis » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:32 am

I'm intrigued by the story of the local sheriff in California being told to leave Manson and his troupe alone, let them do their thing, etc. I haven't seen any substantial confirmation of that, but it seems plausible if Manson was an "experiment."
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