6th Feb. 2014

O.R. (Organized Religion)


"If there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time; which will be infinite like .. God …..It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity, which will recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose whole scope, whose whole force, will be centered in aiding humanity to realize its own true, divine nature." Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati.

1. Passiveness, obedience and subjugation is achieved by moving opinion to a controlled arena, and there, in a controlled spectrum, encourage lively debate to indoctrinate and manipulate. Within such confines, vast percentages of the populace, who are ill-educated and unprepared to confront the complexities of this world, surrender their minds to replication. Independent thinking is quickly lost when decision making is transferred from individual to institution .... media, governments, military juntas, sports groups, modern corporations, dictatorships, and specifically religious cults, which solicit ad vericundium endorsements... lending credence to a statistical syllogism.

2. Whereas all others are bound to act and abide under Constitution; pay taxes and conform to laws of the land ... Organized Religions (O.R.) self-assess and pay no taxes. Nor do they recognize any Constitution outside their own brand of god's law .... superior to any legislative or judicial codifications. Posing as liberators of humanity ... the principal repositories of all knowledge... fully cognizant, O.R. instills fear by pointing to unavoidable natural circumstance (a universe hostile to life vis-a-vis Creationism) to exert control over believers. Mercenary messiahs and their cohort sociopaths have long ago realized the importance of jingoism, racism, casteism, fear and religious fundamentalism as appeal when organizing a mass base support intended to enforce, subjugate, crush and exploit. Understanding the populace to be riddled with lazy minds, star-gazers, fiction fanatics, hopefuls and short-cutters who grab at straws to stay afloat, O.R. has, through the centuries, invented truer-than-truth ... miracle-mongering heroes with homes in the sky, who negate life's problems ...abracadabra ... free of intellectual solutions. Just chant- "Brain Freeze" and be happy.

3. Judges, politicians, thespians, film producers, stars, media, literati, intelligencia, along with pedophiles, murderers, misogynists, abusers, exploiters and petty thieves, dance and chant in merger, looking skyward, each with an agenda culminating in material betterment and afterworld utopia .... wresting sanity to believe in insanity..... providing validation for a profusion of cults on stream all professing visions of the invisible. Meanwhile, where influential members (who endorse O.R.) are gently ushered along a maze of ismic corridors en route to liberation, they are detoured from the herded, abused, entrapped, enslaved, exploited, lesser valued members. Understood and practiced as hierarchical right in Catholicism's Vatican, the Christian/Hindu/American/Jewish (all for the money) copy-cat cult - ISKCON hare krishna, call this grading- Varnasramadhama ... the division (by caste) of humanity by the man in the sky.

4. In a world demanding undeniable proof .... fact over speculation ... applicable truth over theory ... leaving fiction in a clearly defined arena of entertainment ... why do governments grant broad tax exclusions and monetary concessions (at the expense of tax-payers) to religious cults who offer nothing more than pie-in-the-sky? Is it not the sole reason effecting religious cult proliferation, internationally? Not only do these heaven bent hallucinators belong in a museum of man's dark past; not only do they amass funds by exploiting the mortal fears of hard-working citizens; not only do their books and teachings smack of lunacy ... they are the inheritors of man's bloody historic wars against man to decide who will possess the government sanctioned and endorsed, tax-exempt, multi-gazillion dollar god- market. And their teachings still purport and predict ultimate domination over all ... violence in god's name. So again, even where understanding exists in a right to believe... why do governments sanction, concede to, and subsidize religious societies / institutions / trusts ... visible businesses that are raking in money for the asking ... acquiring / coveting prime real estate .... building massive edifices to lure clientele ... purchasing and claiming every conceivable mod-con as god's benediction while flying under radar in several areas of crime ... and under an array of tax umbrellas?

5. Calculated figures released by the University of Tampa (USA) show religious tax-exemption in America to be a staggering USD 71 billion annually.
* India has not yet done its research, but when it does, there should be no surprise to find a large volume of dodgy cults and religious organizations (using every proviso and guile) tearing into government coffers at the expense of Indian tax payers. Still the emphasis on religious tolerance, subsidiaries, and religious perks, involve practically every government in a secular world. Every man understands how temporary the peace and volatile the disruptions this artificial fiasco offers those (a large percentage of the populace) who have no commitment to or need for O.R. For such individuals, the offer of peace on earth or Utopia in the afterlife, makes no sense when made by those prepared to extort or kill in holy feud. There is no religious harmony. There never was. There never will be. Centuries of discussion and interfaith meetings have achieved nothing more than honor among religious retromingents.

* http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-cost-of-religious-tax-exemptions-71000000000/

6. In recent times and ongoing ... Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Central Africa, Russia, Central Asia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, et al ... killings have taken a large toll on the innocent. These atrocities, EVERY ONE, can be sourced to government provisos and sanctions. How is that? Well, the acts may have been carried out by individuals, or groups, or organized militants, however the common factor in all the atrocities is religion. Yet, and through the rivers of blood and terrorism, governments persist in seeking the unseekable. They actually believe in O.R. ... propagate it, endorse it, and use it to secure votes.

7. It is a growing understanding that as ethnic diversity expands with migration, introducing new fangled faiths to the cauldron, all of them demanding a just share by democratic right ... no citizen will be safe ... Religious intolerance will be the order of the day and chaos will reign supreme. The only way to stop it from eventuating is for democratic governments, worldwide, to amend their Constitution in context to O.R. We present below, for our Indian Governors and Legislators, a recent article posted by U.N. envoy to the Middle East, England's ex. Prime Minister- Mr. Tony Blair. Please read it. Thank You:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/25/religious-difference-ideology-conflicts-middle-east-tony-blair?CMP=fb_gu

8. Meanwhile Downunder, the Australian Government has initiated a Royal Commission into Institutional Child abuse. What came crawling out the cracks is proof that O.R. is a sanctum for every depraved, perverted, violent, abusive anti-behaviorist in existence. Where one end of O.R. uses violence and terrorism openly to enforce dogma ... the other end hides secretive manhole inspectors, homo / bi / tri sexuals, udinists, machocists, sadists, misogynists, pedophiles, bestalists ... and sexual perversions for which we have no known reference. In Australia the ongoing, and ONLY known organization involved in child-sexual abuse is the Catholic Church. * ISKCON history remains undisclosed. Now we discover that Catholicism's evangelical wing ....the Salvation Army, don't just do charity but little boys as well .... "Royal Commission to hear cases of severe sexual, physical abuse at Salvation Army boys' homes." **

* http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/05/un-denounces-vatican-child-abuse?CMP=fb_gu
** http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-01-28/royal-commission-to-hear-cases-of-severe-sexual-physical-abuse-at-salvation-army-boys-homes/1254756

9. Once again we request our Indian Governors to take note : Although psychological damage, degeneration and degradation of its younger generation maybe common to the West ... and conspicuous by its absence in Bharat ... foreign cults, such as ISKCON hare krishna, have already pleaded NO CONTEST (in a US court) to child sexual perversions and abuse in India (Mayapur and Vrindavan) ... in which no Indian victims were mentioned (or received compensation) http://www.harekrsna.org/gurupoison/support/turley-case.pdf The fact that this group continues to exist, function, and expand under the Indian Constitution without arraignment and with full support granted by democratic right, it must surely sends a message of Indian goodwill to child molesters and traffickers stalking the Asian circuit.

10.
Relatively, and in reality, hard-working tax-paying farmers and industrialists are crippling under the burden of supply and cost, while O.R. enjoy heavenly comforts on earth. ISKCON continues to open more temples; sell paraphernalia for more than it costs in an open market; build more guest houses under trusts; invest in more businesses; fly to exotic destinations; wear expensive watches and cologne; walk in Birkenstock shoes and shoot film with Hasselblad cameras; eat drink and make merry with money begged in the name of charity ("Feeding starving kids in India") and tax-exempted by governments worldwide. While constructing its USD 75 million "Temple of the Vedic Planetarium" in Mayapur, Bengal, the groups Bangalore branch.. using the name- "India Heritage Foundation"- has purchased 80 acres of land in Silicon Valley USA to build a USD 12 million temple. Money for jam.

11. Even where the cult struggles to maintain its numbers, the business of temple building appears to be an obsession. Why and how do religious 'charities' maintain such an expansion and development program? Answering the second part of the question first: It is because most 'charities' are really businesses selling tickets to Disneyland in the sky ... revenue that is re-invested here on earth in land grabs (temples, guest houses, units, retail outlets,) businesses and scams, all of which run tax free. To answer the first part of the question: Temples are where the eyes, heart and intellect of deity gazers are rendered paralytic ..... "in the presence of god." Under such conditions the smitten believer does not stress over percentages ... monies and promises coerced and sealed in deals "for the liberation of humanity" .... Just chant "Brain Freeze" and be happy.

12. As an example of how an O.R. temple works in plain sight, we present latest news from the Vaisnava sect scene in Jagannatha Puri, India. This temple has 1'497 priests, all of whom operate tax exempt. Readers should note that although ISKCON claims to be a branch of the older Jagannatha Puri mob, they are intensely disliked, looked on as foreigners, imitators and frauds, who converted to con the already established Vaisnava god-market, ergo not permitted entry to the temple at Puri. Further, when understood that this (tax-ex. charity?) temple has an overhead annual budget of USD 39.31 million (!!!) * it becomes clear why festivals of fun on public view are replaced with hissing, snarling and sharpened daggers in the dark labyrinths of O.R. administration. Additionally, we must point out that the temple at Puri is only one among thousands in India ... And what are they selling? They sell colored tickets (8 different colors **) to gaze on and pray to three painted tree trunks worshipped as manifestations of the (blue / black) god- Krishna ... with his (white) brother and (yellow) sister.

*
"BHUBANESWAR: The Jagannath Temple Administration in Puri has made a budgetary allocation of nearly Rs 22 crore for procurement of raw materials to be used for Nabakalebar rituals in 2015. The budgetary provision is part of the shrine's annual budget (2014-15) of over Rs 212.26 crore...." .......... (USD 39. 31 million per annum)
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2014-01-29/bhubaneswar/46781769_1_1-5-crore-nabakalebar-rs-22-crore

** http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-28/bhubaneswar/45651754_1_sanctum-sanctorum-parimanik-jagannath-templepic:

13. To get some history on this temple, how the deities 'manifest', its mood, traditional Vaisnava hoarding techniques and ruthlessness, please read- HERE.

14. As we write this article another piece of unholy Vaisnava news, posted today on Time of of India, has come to hand. Apparently the head priest (Kehavan Namboodiri) of the famous Vaisnava shrine at Badrinath (another money-spinning, tax-free temple) has been taken into 14 days judicial custody for the alleged confinement and molestation of a 28 year-old pregnant woman. He along with a sidekick (Vishnu Prasad) were drunk, and cigarette butts were strewn about the hotel room.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Badrinath-shrine-chief-priest-arrested-in-molestation-case/articleshow/29868119.cms

15. And then there's Islam. A belief system that is uprooting the lives of those who follow it and those who don't. There is no peace for Muslims in this world, or only sporadically. Those who have moved away from the Middle East to foreign countries do possess some freedom when exercising it. Otherwise Muslim clergy are on a permanent warpath. Why is this anguish following Islam through the centuries? The answer lies in the crazy beginnings of most evangelical, expansionist isms. Here it is ... taken from the site of Shriman Vijai Singh:
http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/playboy.html

SUMMARY:
Religion is an easy sell with a constant flow of un-taxed and untraceable money. It offers escape from the un-escapable... death and taxes. Besides, those recruited in the practice of soliciting money for O.R. lead a life of consummate ease: servants, land and assets, mod-cons, travel with all expenses paid accounts, whores, homosex or even intergenerational sex for the asking, personal slaves and servants at the beckoning, worship and adulation, money in the bank ... tax-free, with interest and government protection. If the wealth discovered in a South Indian temple is any indication http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/world/asia/05india.html?_r=0 then India's reason for struggle can be found hidden in the several thousands of temples, mosques and churches, and in the banks of non-secular administrators.

“I don't know how you feel, but I'm pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate.” 
-George Carlin

Thank You for spending time with us.

BIF


KNOTS in a THREAD

1. Looks like the ISKCON mid-day-meal program has done it again. Children are falling dangerously ill from eating contaminated hare krishna meals. When will Indian Governors understand that ISKCON involvement with the mid-day-meal program has nothing to do with welfare for kids or community service. They are there for the propaganda and endorsement the activity offers ... propagand that opens up access to easy money in an international beggars market where soliciting alms is an unlimited ocean of tax-free dollars. We have documented several cases of food contamination, directly involving ISKCON, on our web site. Anyhow, City mayor, Kala Ojha and health officials of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation have promised to take action against those found responsible. As before, we have adopted a wait-n-see posture. To this point we are still waiting withouth seeing any action.
http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=827276

2. Are you ready for the new generation Vaisnavas?
He goes by the name of- "Swami Bhakti Candan Yati".


Yati Swami (William Deligny), active in France, used to be the ultraviolent guitarist for the French Nazi skinhead band "Evil Skins". He has done jail time for physical assault. Six months, if memory serves. Yati has, at least publicly, renounced his past activities, but it gives you an idea of the kind of broken and hate-filled people that gravitate towards Gaudiyaism. He has writtten a number of Hare Krishna books
in French, including a two-volume Gita commentary.
He's affiliated with one of the GM splinters.
He's a disciple of Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan, who's a disciple of Bhakti Promoda Puri, who's a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta. Yati calls himself a Hindu, and calls his temple a Hindu temple. He's appeared on French TV. He also plays in a HK punk band (Dayal Nitai).

3. Finally we post a paper of great significance to us: those who have been through the process, and those who find themselves tossed in the deep end of a cult brainwash:


The Manipulation of Spiritual Experience: Unethical Hypnosis in Destructive Cults
Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Ph.D. and
Steve K. Eichel,
Ph.D., ABPP

The following paper was initially presented to the Association of Advance Ethical Hypnosis Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention Boston, MA October 26, 1984. It appeared in Hypnosis Reports

© 1985 Re-Entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network used with permission
    Abstract: The process of cult and mass therapy indoctrination may involve repeated inductions of trance-like states of consciousness similar to hypnosis. Environmental (milieu) control, social manipulation, isolation and the use of prescribed consciousness-altering techniques (e.g. repetitive and/or continuous chanting, meditating, or praying) are some of the methods employed by cults to produce these altered states of awareness. Recent studies suggest that memories, emotions and even spiritual experiences can be manipulated while in hypnosis. Lack of informed consent and questionable concern for individual needs and wishes makes the use of these hypnotic techniques unethical. Being subjected to repeated and prolonged hypnotic inductions can impair the convert's ability to make decisions and evaluate new information; moreover, the convert's altered awareness can "lock in," and become a conditioned personality response pattern. One result can be periodic episodes of unwanted trance experiences ("floating") that occur for months or even years after a cultist exits his/her group.

The growth of controversial new religions and mass therapies (hereafter referred to as "cults") has generated considerable amount of concern and debate. These groups raise some important practical and ethical questions for professional hypnotists and counselors. Cults have produced drastic behavior and personality changes in a decidedly intelligent, educated and usually affluent population of converts. Typical cultists are not ignorant, weak-willed or emotionally disturbed (Clark, Langone, Schecter & Daly, 1981) this phenomenon of sudden personality change under stress, labeled "snapping" by authors Conway and Siegelman (1978) has sparked a renewed interest in methods of environmentally engineered attitude change, coercive persuasion and disguised hypnosis. A large part of the cult debate is concerned with whether or not these techniques constitute an objectively verifiable process of mind control. Behavioral scientists Clark and Langone (1983) claim they do; they have stated that "social psychology research ... demonstrates rather conclusively ... that environmental variables can influence behavior in remarkable ways ... that mind control sometimes occurs in cults (p 28). Sociologists Bromley and Shupe (1981) are among the academicians claiming that cults are not particularly dangerous. Our clinical work with the Re-entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network (of Dubrow Eichel, Dubrow Eichel, & Eisenberg), as well as our interviews with hundreds of former cultists, leads us to accept the contention that some new religions and mass therapies are destructive to many (if not most) individual cult members.

Rather than attempt to deal with an extremely complex issue in its entirety, however, this paper will concentrate on one aspect of destructive cultism the unethical use of covert communication, persuasion and behavior-influencing techniques (including hypnosis), and their role in the manipulation/indoctrination process.

Cults, Hypnosis and Thought Reform
Some theories explain sudden cult conversions in terms of the social pressures exerted when a recruit is subjected to total environmental (milieu) control, while others single out the control of information flow as being the most important factor. Psychiatrist John Clark has proposed that cult brainwashing involves repeated inductions of trance-like states of consciousness, and that these states then become prolonged well beyond what we're used to thinking of as the average length of time in trance. Clark (1979) states that all the other characteristics of cult life (milieu control, the constant demand to be perfect, the constant expectation to confess transgressions, the belief that the cult's "truth" is absolute, use of buzz words and other language-loading techniques, deception, authoritarian structure) act together and contribute to a "continued state of dissociation." This state is marked by "focused attention" in which "new information is absorbed at an accelerated rate and rapidly becomes integral ... to the mind." The convert then becomes dependent on the cult for definitions of reality (p 280).

Dr. Clark's explanation poses some interesting questions. How do cults induce and maintain such prolonged trance states? How do cults make their suggestions so compelling and relatively impervious to the effects of time and feedback (e.g.. "reality testing")?

Cult Induction Processes
Many cults seem to induce trance using disguised, non-direct methods. The pre-hypnotic strategies available to, and often utilized by, destructive cults include singling out someone and giving him/her a great deal of positive, special attention which then increases compliance to authority, and the use of group pressure and/or the demand that one "take center stage" and perform something in front of others (who are expecting a specific kind of performance). This tactic, called "love-bombing," is almost universally employed by cults. Isolating a recruit in new and unfamiliar surroundings increases hypnotic susceptibility, as has been experimentally confirmed in a study by Dr. Arreed Barabasz (1994). Continuous lectures, singing and chanting are employed by most cults, and serve to alter awareness. The use of abstract and ambiguous language, and logic that is difficult to follow or is even meaningless, can also be used to focus attention and cause dissociation (Bandler & Grinder, 1975). Information overload can occur when subjects are presented with more new data than they can process at given time, or when subjects a re asked to divide their attention between two or more sources of information input or two or more channels of sensory input; this tactic is almost identical to the distraction or confusion induction methods in hypnosis (Arons, 1981).

Some cults use classical inductions, albeit under ambiguous labels like "meditation," "guided imagery," "awareness exercises," "processes," etc. For example, the early research suggesting that TM (transcendental meditation) is different from and superior to ordinary self-hypnosis has now been discredited; there is no discernible difference between meditative and hypnotic states (Royal College of Physicians, 1982).

P
rolonged Trance States
In the office of the professional hypnotist, hypnosis occurs within a time-limited, place-limited context. In cults, the exact opposite may be true. The environment is controlled and often seems to have been engineered expressly for the purpose of maintaining and prolonging trance. The cultist is often subjected to sleep and nutrient deprivation, and he or she is taught methods of trance self-maintenance. These methods may include near-continuous praying and chanting, speaking in tongues (glossolalia), prolonged meditation, repetitious scriptural readings or recitations, and other monotonous, repetitive activities. Most published accounts of cult life indicate that cultists are admonished to continuously concentrate on the words, teachings or actual physical experience of the cult leader. Failure to maintain trance is often followed by considerable guilt and self- or cult-inflicted punishment. Cultists are usually taught that any doubt or deviation from the cult's rigid doctrine is evil or Satanic, or in some other way catastrophe-invoking. Similarly, any prolonged interest in people, activities or subject (e.g.. Music, art science) that does not involve a strong concurrent focus on the cult is belittled and/or strongly discouraged; thus the cultist's attention is always divided, and trances become reinforced and automatic, like a habit.


Trance is characterized first and foremost by heightened suggestibility followed closely by diminished critical thinking or reality testing--what Shor (l969) refers to as receding of the "generalized reality orientation." Repeated induction often result in still greater degrees of suggestibility and deeper hypnotic states (Arons, 1981). By prolonging trance states, and with the use of repeated inductions, the cultist may become more and more pliable, less critical, more dissociated from him/herself and more apt to accept spurious and even preposterous notions as "facts." For example, distorted information processing as a result of prolonged trance may be responsible for the belief among Hare Krishnas that the sun is closer to the earth than the moon and that the female brain weighs half as much as the male's. This process of reality distortion may not be very different from that use of hypnosis by surgery patients who while in trance are able to discount the rather pressing information that they are being cut with a scalpel without anesthesia and should therefore be feeling considerable pain.

Prolonged over a long enough period of time, trances tend to persist and return involuntarily even after the subject is removed from the hypnotic situation. There is a well-documented tendency for former cultists to spontaneously re-enter a trance-like state, especially when faced with a situation that would have been met with chanting praying or some other form of self-hypnosis while in the cult. This phenomenon. called "floating" can occur in almost any situation that the cult considers evil or threatening: examples include situations that call for independent decision-making, critical reasoning or the handling of everyday stresses and impulses such as anger or sexual desire. In clinical practice, former cultists have been known to enter into a trance (float) when faced with making relatively uncomplicated decisions or when faced with a need to assert themselves in everyday situations. Clark is convinced that prolonged trance states can sometimes result in long-lasting or even permanent impairment of thinking abilities, critical judgment, and/or emotional responsiveness and range. Psychologist Margaret Singer (1979) and therapists William and Lorna Goldberg (1982) have also documented long-term psychological damage caused by prolonged trance-states. Others have reported physiological changes such as a decreased facial hair growth in men and cessation of menstruation in women (Clark 1979).

Informed Consent, Manipulation, and the Validity of Spiritual Experience
When an individual signs up for an est seminar or a Unification Church leadership retreat, what does that person need, want, and expect? To what degree does that person give informed consent (i.e. permission with reasonably complete understanding of what he or she is getting into) when agreeing to attend a cult activity? The medical and psychological professions have been seriously grappling with the issue of informed consent for years now ; the result has been an evolving written set of guidelines mandating that the health professional provide the consumer with information that details both the expected advantages and the possible adverse effect of a given procedure.

What people "want" or "need" is always open to much interpretation. Needs and wants can also be influenced to a significant degree. Self-awareness and spirituality have become consumer goods on an open personal transformation marketplace complete with multimillion dollar packaging and advertising campaigns. Relatively basic needs such as the need for love and intimacy can be reinterpreted and intellectualized into abstract and metaphorical needs; the "lonely" person becomes the "spiritual seeker" in search of "true meaning in life," "self- actualization" or a "sense of oneness with the cosmos." With cults and mass therapies, the question of informed consent becomes a more difficult one to answer than it first seems. Considerable caution on the part of those groups offering "enlightenment" seems indicated.

To some degree the American public has become so enamored with quickly finding "the answer" and achieving "the goal" that the search for personal meaning has become devalued. Thus, in asking for instant awareness, we to some degree relinquish our ability to give informed consent. It does not seem possible to gain "instant awareness" or "instant spiritual experience" without being manipulated. Moreover, there seems to be a positive correlation between the amount of manipulation and covert hypnosis and the degree of perceived "satisfaction;" the more some people are pressured and influenced the "deeper" their insight or the more "intense" their spiritual experience.

The validity of spiritual experience is even more difficult to judge than the validity of psychological insights. Spiritual experiences can be secularly produced rather than divinely inspired. especially with the aid of a willing subject and a reasonably facile natural or trained "hypnotist." Former charismatic fundamentalist preacher, Marjoe Gortner demonstrated this fact quite well; he "saved" thousands using calculated and decidedly secular manipulative tactics (Kernochan & Smith, 1972). There are several well-documented instances of "UFO visits" that have been proven to be the products of hypnotically-enhanced imaginations (Klass, 1981). There is now a heated debate within experimental/forensic hypnosis as to whether or not hypnosis produces enhanced fantasizing and firmly believed but possibly distorted memories (Hilgard, 1981) Sensations, visions, memories, insights, and emotions experienced in hypnosis are typically more vivid and detailed than when experienced or thought about in the waking state and hence they are often felt by the subject to be especially valid -- independent of whether or not these experiences are indeed valid. True spiritual experiences may occur. However, since spiritual experiences cannot usually be objectively validated (we cannot ask God for His written opinion). they're especially prone to "emotional" validation (i.e. "it's true if it feels true" ). It is just this sense -- the feeling that an experience is "true" -- that can be so easily manipulated in the state of heightened suggestibility known as hypnosis. Manipulated pseudo spiritual experiences may be the rule in cults.

Discussion
Years of research have given plausibility to the claim that there is a technology of systematic, rapid and radical attitude/behavior/personality change and control ( mind control ); these thought reform techniques seem to work best when the subject are either motivated to cooperate or manipulated into believing they have some degree of free choice. (Cunningham, l984) Hypnosis is a powerful tool. In thought reform it seems to be most effective when used in disguised and/or nontraditional forms.


Many cults appear to systematically and unethically employ consciousness-altering techniques and rituals in their efforts to manufacture spiritual experiences, increase suggestibility, maintain long-term dissociative states and reinforce mystical thinking. In cults, "trance can become a conditioned [behavior/personality] pattern ... a way of calming disturbing thoughts and censoring the mind ... trance cuts off the input of sensory information." (Appel, 1983. p. 133) Clark (1979) summarizes the power of prolonged use of cult-induced hypnosis and self-hypnosis: "It becomes an independent structure ... [the] basic controls of the central nervous system seem to have been altered (p. 210).

Conclusions
Any organized attempt to influence human behavior and experience should follow basic guidelines designed to protect the worth and dignity of the individual; the needs wishes and interests of the client should always be the primary focus of these relationships. These concepts are central to ethics codes in the social services and sciences (cf. American Psychological Association, 1983; American Association for Counseling and Development, 1982). Hypnotists are also reminded that "the desires of the subject shall always be respected" and that suggestions should only be employed to meet the needs of subjects and maintain their right to make their own decisions (Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis, 1978). The question, of course, is who defines what is in an individuals interest or "welfare." When a person is bleeding profusely from a deep cut, it is easy to see what is in the person's best interest; it becomes considerably more difficult to decide such matters when dealing with something as nebulous as person's "soul" or "spirituality." When someone other than a client him/herself makes that judgment, that person should be very hesitant to act on that judgment, especially without obtaining informed consent. This caution should be taken even more seriously when considering the use of very powerful techniques for altering awareness. We need to remember who pays the price when judgments, no matter how well-intentioned turn out to be wrong. Physicians, psychotherapists and hypnotists are or should be held responsible when theymisuse hypnosis. One wonders if cult and mass therapies should be any less
accountable.

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