Don Beck: "You're Bottom Dwellers!"
To WHAT enlightenment?!
I noticed that you have been sending this to both my personal address AND to the spiraldynamics website, without permission. I view this to be nothing but spam and an ethical violation of the use of the Internet. I'm tempted to inform various agencies of what you are doing. Please remove any further message from both of my email addresses. You should be more responsible yourself before you cast stones on others. I know Ken and Andrew both quite well; spend a lot of time in both of their environments; and it is refreshing to see the absence of cynicism in their worlds. They have both been very supportive, gracious, and open to my own thinking and have made major changes in their own worldviews based on my contributions. I've been working with these ideas for over 30 years and can detect fraud, and phonies, and exploitation a mile away. And, I know healthy people and movements when I see them.
Whenever you decide to do something positive for the welfare of this planet then I will welcome contact from you. People like you and your "cause" are a dime and a dozen, and I tend to find both as only bottom dwellers who have nothing to contribute on their own. If you don't know what that means I'll be glad to tell you.
Finally, since you lack the courage to use your own name and identity then I have very strong suspicions about your own motives....and value systems. Only cowards lurk in the shadows.
I suggest you take my cautions seriously.
Don Edward Beck, Ph. D. Spiral Dynamics Group
An Open Letter to Don Beck from WHAT enlightenment?!
Dear Don Beck,
We read your letter with alarm and regret. Alarm at the tone and regret that you are missing something that could be a healing process and begin to open up a discussion that could include yourself in it.
You seem to have gotten yourself sucked in by Cohen, much the same as we here at WHAT enlightenment?! ourselves were for a very big number of years. So for that, of course, we cannot blame you. "Don, we share your pain!"
You seem to have fallen for the whole Cohen party line, charmed apparently to believe that Cohen and outfit is uncynical, and that therefore there are no skeletons in the closet. You appear to have made no effort to investigate the real complaints of the dissidents, but assume that the complaints are not sincere. You get enraged about these complaints and their authors...and thus at the blog.
Cohen of course will allow only the best examples of his "teaching" to be around a distinguished visitor like yourself. But are you aware of how Cohen routinely hides other students who might embarrass him? Do you know that about 85% of Cohen's true believing flock (sangha) in 1988 have now fled, and those are the voices one now hears on the blog? Have you read any of those posts? Have you read the two anti-Andrew books? Do you read Integral Naked and see how much bad stuff is posted about Cohen, much of it personal experiences of people attending Cohen’s seminars?
"Bottom dwellers with nothing to contribute" - ouch! And that you have suspicions about our motives also ouch. And our value systems....that really hurts. But, heck, our blog actually makes our motivation quite clear, if controversial...we're trying to expose what we consider corruption and abuse in Cohen's world. You seem to be saying that any criticism is only bottom dwelling, and the only responsible thing is to be "postive" about Cohen.
There's more than one way to approach a discussion...in our blog without names, there is also no ego involved by being the one who is right, who makes the best points, no "expert analyst." And the reasoning behind the decision to remain anonymous for now - has also been posted on the blog in the very first article "Who or What is WHAT enlightenment?!" and that reason, Don, is that critics get a lot of shit thrown at them, and we wanted to be free to open a discussion without that happening. A lot needs to get shared by many people, and we felt for now at least, this anonymous form is best. Also we note that your letter actually does not find fault with the accuracy of any statements about Cohen on the blog - just the fact that they are said in the first place. We do make every effort to vet out the accuracy of what we post - and have not posted wild and unsubstantiated charges against Cohen, which would be easy, cheap, and not where we want the discussion to go.
The email which we sent to you is not spam, which is by definition mass email, with deception as its basis and money as its motive. We got your two addresses because you have them posted on the web for people interested in contacting you to use. All our list is gotten by carefully looking for email addresses of individuals who might be interested in reading our postings. Of course we will honor your request and delete your email addresses from our list.
Finally, your message contains what to us sounds like a veiled threat, which is totally out of place. Is it because you yourself find our message so threatening that you must threaten us personally?
It's too bad that you won't consider the possibility that you may have misjudged Cohen. Sad that eventually when the truth all comes out - and it will all come out—you will not only feel foolish and betrayed, but you’ll lose some credibility among your peers.
Too bad that so many big name teachers close ranks with each other rather than being interested in hearing what the dissent is all about.
A Reader's Response:
There is a wealth of good literature about the Narcissist Personality Disorder, or NPD.
Reading your posts concerning the exchange with Don Beck, it brought to mind one quote from the work of Dr. Sam Vaknin (http://samvak.tripod.com/15.html).
I find it quite interesting to peer into the personalities of leaders like Cohen and Beck, and congratulate your blog on its reporting of this issue.
"The narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".
When (the narcissists) flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail - the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression.
This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To the narcissist, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object."