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Cults, Religions, Spiritualism, Psychotherapy, AA, Self Help, etc

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I want to know your stance on all of the above. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it overused? Underused?

 

I've got a lunatic as a roommate who wants me to go to the initiation of his cult called the "Landmark Forum." This is a guy who has been living in my apartment for about a month and really seems latched onto spiritualism to a point where I wonder what the fuck is going on. He never talks about himself except to say "I dated a model" "I did some modeling" basically whatever we're doing his respons is he's done it bigger and better than me, which is funny coming from a lanky software engineer who's about 15 years behind the social skill curb. I would have to do less babysitting if my 16 year old brother came to stay with me, and yet this is the guy who peaches so much about self help, self improvement, spiritualism etc.

 

I've made a lot of different kinds of friends over the years from different backgrounds and the one thing they all had in common was that they couldnt hide who they were. They would tell you every gritty detail of their life, never skipping a chapter, because they felt it was necessary. They needed to articulate aloud their life to make sense of it, and to make sure it made sense to other people as well. They were analytical, logical, very honest, and very generous with their time. That's my ilk.

 

This guy is not one of them. I feel like he's fell into a cult because he is so ashamed of who he is that he needs spiritualism to destroy any sense of self he still has. I think doing that only leads to more pain, alienation, disenfranchisement from society and ultimately more denial and self hatred.

 

This landmark forum thing is supposed to be for rich people who seek self help but the vibe so far (I havent gone to this thing yet) is pretty similar to when i had friends who were in AA.

 

Ive done cognitive therapy before for Social anxiety disorder (not that i ever had it) and have mixed feelings about any self help that is a lot of talk and not actually working on yourself. I think you're better off with a hammer than a self help book, mentally, physically, spiritually. But maybe someone disagrees with me. What's religion, self help books/seminars, spiritualism, etc done for you?

 

 

I'm wondering what 12oz things, since I'm guessing that we all can relate to this.

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Religion is a necessary evil. Anything to keep people from climbing in though my windows at night. People are pretty crazy and need something to believe in and guide them. Although i have my moments where i sometimes wonder myself and question whether or not there is a God.. but i do think some of the Christian/Islamic fundamentalist radicals are overly analytical mutations of what the real picture is. I don't doubt the wisdom in it and the appearance of a divine source but then you would be underestimating the unfathomable capabilities of the human mind .. I kind of had the same deal with a guy i know who was very involved with his church and the bible stuff

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I went to the "landmark forum" last night. Exactly what I expected. Guy stands up, talks a bunch of illusive gibberish about how if I sign up for a $500 weekend seminar I will be more aware of "things I don't know that I don't know." my goals for my life will come true and blah blah blah.

 

My roommate and I got there a bit late so I missed introductions that included "graduates" talking about their personal experience after going through the workshop and how their lives have improved. We got there when the leader of the forum was having a sermon about what it means to pay $500 for the workshop, how it shows commitment to improving your life blah blah blah. Then they split the guests (that's me) into two groups and have a speaker talk once again about why we should go through the seminar. He made us complete a form that was basically this:

 

1. Name everything that's working in your life

2. Name everything that's not working in your life

3. Take something that's not working and explain what youre doing about it

4. Now explain what you're not doing about it

5. Write down what your life would be like if you had that part of your life working

6. Write down what your life would look like if that part of your life never worked

 

He would call on people from the crowd to say what they wrote down, generall he would call on the guy next to me, who was a member of the organization acting like a participant in the crowd. In 3 card monte he would be the ringer.

 

Then the speaker launched into a thing about there's what you know, what you know you don't know, and what you don't know that you don't know. And talked about how this program would give you a sense of what you don't know that you don't know.

 

After the seminar was over he knew I wasnt going to sign up and spoke with me for about ten minutes. He asked for questions and I said "Everything you said tonight was common sense I've already heard before. There's a million ways to learn what you want me to pay $500 for, so my question to you is, with all the other self help products out there, why should I buy yours?" He got defensive about my use of the words "self help" and "product" and then talked about what the seminar did for him. Talked about how he hadnt been back home in ten years, and he went through the airforce, divorced his wife etc... Then he talked a little more about how the program worked.

 

Basically you're in a room of about 100 people who all talk about whats bothering them. They expect you to sit there, listen to other people's problems and realize that there's problems in your life that you never knew you had. Really this was for people who've never been honest and open with themselves, never been one to talk about themselves realistically to anyone else and needed a safezone so they could withtout anyone passing judgement. And then through the seminar you talk about the steps you've taken to improve your life.... But even so there's FREE group therapy sessions out there where you sit there and work through your shit. Im not about to pay $500 to talk to/listen to 100 people.

 

 

 

If anyone wants advice I'm full of it. Namely this: Doesnt matter what it is, you're looking for a shortcut. The hardest part about anything is realizing there are no shortcuts, only hard work. Doing the hard work is easy. Accepting the hardwork is hard.

Don't go paying $500 for a seminar that ends in something you already know, "Its now up to you to do the heavy lifting."

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Religion can be a good thing or a bad thing. depending on what the motives are I guess, to harm one another or to embrace one another. At least here in the states I'm more likely to get someone at more door professing there religion then having a Molotov cocktail thrown through it because i believe in something else or am an objector.. I'm not sure if there will ever be a right or wrong answer it can go either way .. though i would stay away from religions that require you to pay a fee or murder innocent people in the name of Allah.

 

 

I think your friend is a recruiter and u made the first bad move of going to his seminar but it is good that you have your head on your shoulders. He might ask you to go to more seminars or gatherings just so you can get acquainted with people its all part of the process of slowly but surly indoctrinating you

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Couple things. One the key word is motives. There's no such thing as a motive for the greater good. We're not a species of spiritual beings and dogooders. We're a species of motherfuckers who's gone away from beyond being muscular atheletes to spineless dickheads because that's the breed who gets all the pussy.

 

And two, he's not my friend. He's my smelly fucking indian room mate I'm on the verge of kicking out for his smelly fucking habits. Hair in the shower drain, can't keep his bedroom from smelling like shit, the distinct smell of bullshit whenever he speaks. I find everything about him absolutely disdainful. Which is why I made this thread, to get out some of my aggression towards this fucktard without unleashing all of it on him personally. His english "is not so good" too which just adds to my stress level.

 

 

NOW, he is a recruiter. I know that for a fact, but what annoys the fuck out of me is that he doesnt make money as a recruiter. He payed OUT well over a thousand dollars (each seminar is $600 and he's payed for at least two) to BE a recruiter, which to him is a position of prestige and accomplishment. He PAYS for the opportunity to stand in front of people and give lectures about how landmark form has helped him.

 

So now I have a douchebag who lives in my house and not only is messy and smelly, but his only sense of self-worth is connected to being a landmark forum lecturer, meaning I have to fucking hear his spiritual beliefs and ethical reasons why he doesnt eat meat or eggs. He actually thinks he's a better person for not eating eggs.... But he loves pancakes..... and he's too much of a pathological liar to admit there's eggs in them.

 

 

He also tells me a story about how Chuck Palanik or whatever his name is who wrote Fight Club did so after completing the landmark forum. He says this with pride, as if somehow a book about a guy telling the shiny happy polished money-making people of this world to fuck off is a glowing review for a company that sells Self help for $600 a pop.

 

I want to kill this kid, but at the same time I can sympathize with what he must be going through. So I don't know what to do. I'm hoping someone here can tell me a believable story about how self help fixed them.

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though i would stay away from religions that require you to pay a fee or murder innocent people in the name of Allah.

 

There is no requirement to do this, not even in the radical Islamist sphere. Most of those considered "radical" in the Muslim faith tend to restrict themselves to rhetoric and keep it political.

 

You're thinking of a very small group of people who choose to interpret Muslim teachings as justification for jihad, although I'm willing to bet you're under the impression that's the stance held by most of the Middle East.

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^yeah i know exaggerated a little just to make my point regarding religion/cults/mind control whatever .. im sorry if i offended you. Although i am curious to know what you think the stance is in the middle east ?

 

 

 

I'm hoping someone here can tell me a believable story about how self help fixed them.

 

the only selfhelp that is proven to work with just about everyone who has tried it. Buy him a can of paint and teach him how to do graffitis. trust me, its a lesser evil

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^yeah i know exaggerated a little just to make my point regarding religion/cults/mind control whatever .. im sorry if i offended you. Although i am curious to know what you think the stance is in the middle east ?

 

You didn't offend me.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by the "stance" in the Middle East. I'm going to assume you're talking about how they feel about Westerners and militant religion and go from there.

 

Like I said, the militant radicals make up a very small part of the overall population. Many politicians and activists may be labeled as radical, but they stick to rhetoric, and radical religious views they hold tend not to spill over into violence.

 

When it comes to feelings towards Westerners, specifically a US presence, one needs to differentiate between insurgents and terrorists, only the latter of whom really throw themselves behind religious fanaticism. Groups like Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, whatever, are of a mind that violence fueled by a religious agenda is the answer to purifying the Muslim world. This view is not necessarily shared by the general population, however they are pissed off that there is a foreign military presence on their soil and want to be left alone. They are willing to take an assault rifle given to them by a terrorist group and shoot at American troops. If the troops left, they would most likely put down the rifle and go back to herding goats.

 

However, things get sticky when you take into account that most terrorist organizations are also responsible for murdering Muslims to propagate their ideology, and obviously create terror, i.e. blowing up voters at a ballot box. The average insurgent or citizen is not going to cosign a terrorist group killing other Muslims, no matter how much they hate American troops. Again, they hate America because of the occupation, not necessarily because they consider Americans nonbelievers or denizens of an evil superpower. They are willing to support terrorist groups due to the convenience of a mutual goal, which is getting American troops to leave. Most of them are not going to blow themselves up or embark on a "global jihad." It's localized.

 

I'm not good at going beyond hilarious one liners, so if christo/fist/someone with more knowledge or firsthand experience would like to comment or chime in...

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What ever you do, Don't drink the kool aid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JonestownArielBodies.jpg

 

 

 

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Muslims+Hold+Day+Prayer+Capitol+Hill+NXTobTKsYGal.jpg

 

 

 

they-live-alien.jpg

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i think when it comes to any of these methods of self-help, they ultimately put someone or something else as an authority figure that directs you what to do to make things better. they all make some sort of assertion that if you follow their guidelines, you'll get better. most people i know who buy into this shit never get better. it's a racket one way or another, it just depends what quack you want to give your time and money to.

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That's funny you mention control and authority (which I agree with you on) because at Landmark Education, after you complete the seminar you get to volunteer as a seminar leader, so you get to feel like you're now the authority figure... but you aren't, because nobody's paying you.

 

I had the hardest time trying to convince my roommate of this. I said to him, "What they're doing here is teaching people how to manipulate other people. Why not just call the seminar 'Learn how to be manipulated and manipulate other people' and sell it for what it is?" He seemed to agree with me at the moment, then later on backpedaled and told me I'm wrong. I said ok, whatever.

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Wow Soup I really dislike your roommate, That point about the eggs was the last straw. I have have had encounters with these types before and nothing good can come of it. If it were my place I would kick his stinky black ass to the curb. Fuck him. his philosophy's and his pretentious attitude. I am led to believe that in his head he thinks he's a wolf, but in reality he's a sheep just like everyone else at landmark, excepting the snake oil salesman.

 

You need a new roommate Soup, Your going to end up snuffing him with a pillow and doing the world a favor.

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There are some good things about him as a roommate. He stays in his room so its like hes only here for a few minutes, he doesnt steal my food, he doesnt own a car so the garage is all mine... And hes at least open to advice, critical feedback, etc. Im not saying he follows it but all the above makes him tollerable for the remainder of the lease.

 

And heres what i think. I think hes just been through some shit and needs some time to come to terms with reality. I have a feeling hes gay, since his guy friend comes over and they lock themselves in his room, being dead silent the whole time, then when they come out theres this awkward moment where theyre really interested in what im doing, affirming with me that they were just studying and then his friend takes off without saying anything to me. Nevermind the smell of lube eminating from his bedroom.

 

I could be wrong, but considering how hes from india (which hates the gays), talks about how important arranged marriages are to his family, and acts super friendly to me when his friend is over, i think if he was gay hed probably try to keep it on the dl.

 

But think about how someone would act if they had to lie about who they are their whole life. He might be attracted to landmark to "fix" or institutionalize himself. Hed also be totally fine with lying since hes had to his whole life.

 

If i kick him out itll be because i think hes better off somewhere else. As long as hes just covering up being gay i think its fine.

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Hymm... When you put him in that light he does seem to become a better roommate. I guess im

going back on my earlier comments about evicting him. He isn't that bad. I was thinking much much

worse. He's just a mad undercover fag. Just start making jokes about him blowing off his friend when

your in the house. haha

 

I can think of much worse roommates to have. Maybe just up his rent so you feel a little better about the w

whole situation? or just rant about all the shit he does on here. Either way laughs will be had.

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Steady pay from a job fucking telemarketing is enough to keep someone from climbing through your window, so calm down with THAT as a good reason for the existence of cults, religions, spiritualism, psychotherapy, AA, self help, etc.

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If we're analyzing your room mate sounds like he is on some new age tip which itself is, imo a form of religion but the 'new agers' will claim otherwise. Whilst they may not praise a deity of sorts lets look at some of their core beliefs..

 

Is the New Age A Kind of Religion?

 

Although it may be spiritual, the New Age is far from being a formal religion. In fact, many New Agers tend to shy away from the structure and confines of traditional religious practices. But at the same time the New Age is and can be intensely spiritual. The New Age person often prefers a direct spiritual experience rather than one from organized religion.

 

All religions are essentially cultural institutions, reflecting the cultures that manifest them. Thus the growth in numbers of people exploring New Age topics would suggest that as individuals and as a society, we are willing to explore alternative explanations of who we are. The New Age is simply one path to choose on the road of spiritual growth. It matters little which label we put on the path, since in the end all paths ultimately converge at the same place. Everyone is searching for the eternal truths to some of life's most challenging questions, it is simply the way that people choose to go about their own search that is different. One reason the New Age path is popular is that it is more concerned with the ultimate truths themselves, rather than the process of how they are arrived at.

 

that was taken from http://www.salemctr.com/newage/center1.html

 

It's an easy alternative for those that have been through the indoctrination process of a major religion or they don't identify with one. It's ideas are often wrapped in the banner of false spiritualism and positions the believer in the same light of a major religious believer like a Christian or Muslim where as they think they know something that we don't. To me it's just a different way of feeding one's ego.

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EDIT: before writing the following i didn't actually click the link. I thought he was referring to people who have a sense of spiritualism without being associated with a kind of religion/cult/spiritual group. I thought he was considering "Agnosticism" or "Atheism" or just being "undiluted by institutional religions, but still feeling spiritual" as unto itself a kind of religion since, according to him "everybody's doing it nowadays." After reading that link I'm now just confused about what the fuck he's talking about.

 

 

 

 

God forbid I ever meet the author of that excerpt on the street. If I did I'd be so inclined to throw a dictionary at his face, preferably from a moving vehicle so as to at least make a decent physical impression if not a mental one.

 

"RELIGION" if anyone is unaware, means to bind all people by one belief. The definition he gives to "New Age" claims that it is a religion, without binding anyone to anyone else by any one congruent form of "spiritualism." In other words, as differentiated as we all are from one another by our perspectives and individuality, so is our sense of our own spiritualism. Thats not a fucking religion, you fucking idiot (not you, again, the author of the previously mentioned excerpt) and just because MORE people are seeking to understand spiritualism in their own way doesn't make it an institutionalized form of thought. That's like saying one book is exactly the same as every other because they've all conformed literature to print-form and are all found at the same store.

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Religion to me is way of controlling the masses. New ageism is an alternative for those that don't want to affiliate with an orthodox religion that involves deity worship. It comes across as focusing on individuals that form the foundation of their beliefs on spiritualistic experiences, targeting particularly atheists and agnostics alike.

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I completely agree. OF COURSE religion is a power grab. Religion is a grab for your soul. They're saying "pffft, you can't POSSIBLY understand spiritualism without us. you need us for guidance."

 

Dont you get mad when you see "atheism" or "agnostic" under "religion" on some profile category? Its such a clever and insidious way of making the world assume that you HAVE to at least be a part of some religious group, and being an atheist or agnostic is still somehow being a member of some religion. You can't just be undiluted and make your own decisions about spiritualism. SOMEONE or SOME BOOK MUST be informing you about the way spiritualism works. I'm not saying Facebook profile categories are skewing the world in that way, I'm saying religion has been around for such a long time that it's built into the very language we all, for the most part, unconsciously use.

 

I think that's also why I get so mad when my roommate dives head-on into some conversation about spiritualism, hinduism, or the landmark forum, because to him spiritualism isn't something you go define for yourself, its something that is either right or wrong, and he's really trying to convince me that his way of seeing spiritualism is the right fucking way.

 

This one time he's talking about hinduism and he says the ole "We are all connected to the universe, so when I move my finger, the entire universe moves." Which to me sounds like pseudoscience, or a misunderstanding of physics, but to him is the most profoundly true statement someone can ever make. So when I respond "No it's not." he gets even more contentious.

 

And one other thing he LOVES to talk about, this time originating from Landmark, is how the way you see the world is skewed by your perspective, like wearing a pair of rose shaded glasses, and that somehow that's a bad thing, and that by completing the landmark forum you'll be able to see the world without those glasses. Its like Landmark has taken all the old french philosophers who created the study of existentialism, misunderstood ALL OF IT, and then rewrote it as marketing material for their program. It's absolutely maddening.

 

 

Look at the world we live in. Its human nature to try to control as much of every-day life as possible. Someone invented religion as a way of gaining power, controlling people, and making enough money to do whatever it is they want. And don't tell me that the largest real estate owners of just about every major city in the world doesn't have enough money to end poverty, cure sicknesses, and do right by all in the entire world. But they don't, so I choose to take my time and money elsewhere.

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I

 

This one time he's talking about hinduism and he says the ole "We are all connected to the universe, so when I move my finger, the entire universe moves." Which to me sounds like pseudoscience, or a misunderstanding of physics, but to him is the most profoundly true statement someone can ever make. So when I respond "No it's not." he gets even more contentious.

 

And one other thing he LOVES to talk about, this time originating from Landmark, is how the way you see the world is skewed by your perspective, like wearing a pair of rose shaded glasses, and that somehow that's a bad thing, and that by completing the landmark forum you'll be able to see the world without those glasses. Its like Landmark has taken all the old french philosophers who created the study of existentialism, misunderstood ALL OF IT, and then rewrote it as marketing material for their program. It's absolutely maddening.

 

 

Look at the world we live in. Its human nature to try to control as much of every-day life as possible. Someone invented religion as a way of gaining power, controlling people, and making enough money to do whatever it is they want. And don't tell me that the largest real estate owners of just about every major city in the world doesn't have enough money to end poverty, cure sicknesses, and do right by all in the entire world. But they don't, so I choose to take my time and money elsewhere.

 

Fucking aye, nail, head.

 

I can't help to think that with your housemate situation he's arrived to learn a thing or two from you. Have you had a conversation with him about this stuff? Or is he so far gone that it's not worth the effort? Just curious as it seems this thread stemmed from sincere attempts to discuss this with him as an equal but I'm guessing he went off into a self indulgent rant about his regurgitation of 'higher wisdom'.

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The trick then becomes how to do that. I can't just talk to him straight the same way I am here, because we've established he's just a fucking talking parrot. He just repeats things he's heard. In fact, he's done this twice now where I've told a story and then on a later date he's forgotten that I fucking told it to him and then proceeds to tell the story back to me like it's his. It's the saddest thing I've ever seen.

 

And we've already established that he enjoys being a lecturer. He likes going to landmark seminars and pretending to be a seminar leader, when he's just volunteering and not making any money on it. And he likes to lecture to me about pseudosciences, spiritualism, and stories I originally told him..

 

There's also the fear that by telling him what to do he'll think I'm trying to impose my will on him, just like he's trying to impose his will on others by being a lecturer. There might be a level of contention that's best avoided there.

 

What I have to do is just show him that he's fine without all that. That he doesn't need to fix whatever he thinks needs fixing. Im assuming he thinks he needs to fix his closeted homosexuality, so what i've been doing is slowly trying to get him to talk about his feelings on homosexuality—Which is different than having him admit he's gay. If he can admit being openly gay is fine, and fuck anybody who thinks differently, then I think he'll stop going to landmark and live his own life, and let everyone else live theirs.

 

THis thread has become about how to get friends/room mates off the masturbatory loop of self help.

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