Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Seeds Of Abuse Were In Place

A View On Andrew Cohen From 15 Years later

By Douglas Wallace

I left Andrew Cohen’s community in December of 1989. Unlike others who have written about their experiences here, I was involved with Andrew Cohen and his sangha for barely over a year. But, as many readers of this blog will understand, that time was extraordinarily powerful, and marked the most intense and profound commitment I had ever made to anyone or anything. I encountered Andrew weeks after I had begun a graduate school program, but quickly abandoned my studies, job, and home to follow him. Meeting Andrew felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there was no choice but to give myself to it completely.

Falling in love was the easy part, because what Andrew offered was so astonishing and revolutionary. I had spent years as a Buddhist practitioner, but in a scant few days Andrew opened my eyes to more freedom than I had believed possible. I became convinced that Andrew was offering me a high-speed ride to liberation, and I was among the chosen few.

Within weeks, though, I also sensed some disturbing signs in the community and in Andrew’s behavior that would only intensify over time. There were strict, but unwritten rules that tripped up even the most experienced students. Violations resulted in public humiliation and crushing “house meetings” – two words that I would come to dread. Crossing Andrew, or even appearing to disagree with him, guaranteed swift retribution.

Reading through the various accounts that former students have posted here, on WHAT Enlightenment ??!, it’s clear that the seeds of the abuse and manipulation were in place long ago, probably from the start. The details are horrifying, but not surprising. Andrew is just reenacting a role that has been played by other gurus before him – one theme, many variations – and the drama always unfolds along the same lines.

My departure from the community also followed script. After enduring a number of men’s group meetings where faltering students were shouted at and brought to tears, I finally spoke up and suggested that maybe there was a better way to help people through their difficulties. Oddly, in the weeks leading up to these events, I had been feeling increasingly confident in my own experience and judgment. I must have known, in some way, that this challenge would bring their scrutiny directly on me and force the issue of my own skepticism about Andrew.

If this was an unconscious wish on my part, the men quickly gratified it and blasted me with criticism about my treachery and lack of gratitude toward Andrew. While I acted a little contrite, I quietly knew that I wasn’t about to tolerate weeks or months of abuse for my egoic crimes. After a day of reckoning with the consequences, I gathered my clothes and my courage, and left my group house without notice.

I did have one phone call a few days later with Andrew, during which he asked me if I would reconsider my decision and return to him. With my heart in my mouth, I said I couldn’t and explained why, feeling wrenched with anger and love for him. I later learned that Andrew had recounted that conversation to my fellow students with such fabulous distortion that I became an easy villain. Abusive phone calls from the community chased me until I left the area.

I embarked on a trip to Asia for lack of a better destination, already weary from loss and depression. My life took me to an improbable encounter with Poonjaji (Andrew’s teacher) in India, and a slow healing through a desolate mental landscape, back to a semblance of wholeness. Being with Poonjaji also brought back to life the beauty of Ramana’s teachings, which Andrew had offered me my first glimpse of, but little more.

While my time with Poonjaji was critical in helping me through my separation from Andrew and the community, I still simmered in a stew of outrage and reactivity for several years afterward. My bridges to Buddhism had been burned, and I felt mistrustful and negative toward other Advaita teachers, especially those who had anointed themselves after an awakening experience. Caught in a deep disillusionment, I was intensely critical if there were any question of their integrity or authenticity. As for Andrew, I found his lingering presence in Marin County, where I finally returned to live, a source of great agitation.

As with a brief affair, I ended up spending a lot more time processing my experience with Andrew than the months I actually spent with him. Of course, I thought long and hard about sending him a letter that would finally set him straight. But each time I considered it, I remembered Andrew’s bullet-proof defenses and self-justifications, and knew that there was no getting through.

The passing years have made a difference, and I’ve been fortunate to meet several fine teachers who offered their guidance without demanding my allegiance. They were all rooted in a dharma that transcended their personal interests, and it was a deep joy for me to return to the truest part of my spiritual calling. None of them claimed perfection, and I never asked it from them. All were human, and they knew it.

I look back, bemused now, at my hopes that I would finally be free of certain kinds of experiences, particularly difficult emotions. I wanted Andrew to help me escape my basic human predicament, and he seemed more than willing to accommodate me, for a price. It was a bad bargain for both of us. I’ve learned the hard way that my spiritual longings were complex: unfulfilled narcissistic drives were interwoven with a genuine love of truth, and revulsion toward the mess of the world joined with a deep contemplative nature.

Now when I think of Andrew, I appreciate the doors he opened for me, but his delusions and failings don’t keep me up at night. He’s just another guy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. I find it all deeply helpful and encouraging.

Monday, 16 May, 2005  
Anonymous Ramona said...

Doug, I also thank you for sharing your story and especially the truth in your ending stating that Andrew is just another guy. Like all of us Andrew is a fellow traveller on this path of life, nothing more nor less.

Monday, 16 May, 2005  
Anonymous Freebird said...

Thank you Doug for sharing your experiences and you seem content following your own spiritual path now. In a way Andrew is a catalyst that attracts and then catapults you students away from him so that you are forced to find the true path within yourselves. This, of course, is unintentional and not desired by Andrew, but is nevertheless a true gift of the Divine God. Many of you thank Andrew for the freedom you have found away from him and his teachings, and to pursue true religion.

Continue all you former students in your courageous search for truth and instead of sacrificing yourselves on an altar of perfection, which Andrew claims to have, pursue love, transformation, wisdom and God within yourselves instead.

Love you all

Tuesday, 17 May, 2005  
Blogger Calan said...

Yeah but what does 'just another guy' really mean ?. There are allot of guys in history who caused allot of damage to the individuals and the collective, yeah they were flesh and bone like you and me, just other guys, but they aren't like you and me , they claim something higher, they carry far higher responsibility and in Andrew Cohen's case he's really fallen short of allot of peoples expectations, yeah he might be just another guy but do we really need to many more like him ? as part of our evolution do we have to embrace every crack pot that claims divinity. None of you want to face it, who wants to admit you have wasted years of your life with a false teacher, and yes it takes courage and I very much respect all the posters who have come out, lots of love to ya, but face it there is a good chance he's a complete fraud, you might in fact learn life lessons through any kind of folly but dont attribute those lessons to Andrew they are completely accidental, real love is not loving everything bad and good, its not cool to embrace evil just because you want to be inclusive , its better to differentiate , evil happens when good people refuse to act , you want a better world well you going to have to wrestle it off people like Andrew Cohen. Andrew isn’t a good, caring, ethical, compassionate human being he’s out for himself, he worships himself , there is nothing to be grateful for, you would have learnt allot more just going out in the world to help the world and other human beings

Anyway Doug good post.

Wednesday, 18 May, 2005  
Anonymous Doug Wallace said...

Calan, maybe I should clarify that nothing in my account was meant to exonerate Andrew in any way. Of course he is responsible for all the considerable harm he's done.

Part of what I wanted to share was
my own struggle with just the destructive impacts you mention. After working for some time with my own rage toward Andrew, I was forced to conclude that the best revenge would be to live a good life.

Ultimately, Andrew has only as much power as people give him. I became free from him only when his relevance to my spiritual journey ended.

Wednesday, 18 May, 2005  
Blogger Calan said...

Thanks Doug, maybe I am struggling my own inner rage I am not sure, its that in the attempt to see the learning in the experience allot of the students on this site attribute that negative experience and the learning that comes with it, directly to Andrew.

Life can create huge growth by itself ,when we overcome adversity we can often undergo transformation as the direct result of suffering, people can get transcendence from literally being hit by a truck (just an example). I hear allot from the posters here about finding value in the experience with Andrew but I wonder if in the resolution process its really just grasping to find something worthwhile in him or his teachings.

I wonder if its easier having invested multiple years of your life to a particular path most of us go into some kind of denial because no one wants to see an ex teacher for what he really is , you hear allot from people expressing love for him but I wonder really what that love is, to me it sounds like grasping for some goodness where not much really exists .

I just watched Downfall, about Adolf Hitlers last days and while its an extreme example and no one comparing Andrew to Adolf it was interesting to watch the depiction of the people who followed Adolf, their hatred of weakness, their intolerance of fragility or humanity and while I was watching I could detect a similar pathology, it goes back to to some of the Narcissistic threads that appeared earlier on this blog.

I wonder if we are really aren’t witnessing a Psychopathic Guru , there are psychopaths in every area off our society Doctors, Lawyers Politicians there isn’t a place where the Darth Vader type doesn’t emerge. When you re read the blog it strikes me that we might have in fact an example of one in Andrew. I had a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist read the blog and his view was (with the normal caveats that you would get from a professional eg you cant diagnose from a blog) his view was it seemd extremely likely that he was in fact a charismatic psychopathic personality.

Richard M. Restak stated, described psychopaths in this way These people are impulsive, unable to tolerate frustration and delay, and have problems with trusting. They take a paranoid position or externalize their emotional experience. They have little ability to form a working alliance and a poor capacity for self-observation. Their anger is frightening. Their relations with others are highly problematic. When close to another person they fear engulfment or fusion or loss of self. At the same time, paradoxically, they desire closeness; frustration of their entitled wishes to be nourished, cared for, and assisted often leads to rage. They are capable of a child's primitive fury enacted with an adult's physical capabilities, and action is always in the offing." Ultimately, "the psychopath must have what he wants, no matter what the cost to those in his way."
They have an outstanding ability to charm and win over followers. They beguile and seduce. They enter a room and garner all the attention. They command the utmost respect and obedience. These are "individuals whose narcissism is so extreme and grandiose that they exist in a land of splendid isolation in which the creation of the grandiose self takes precedence over legal, moral or interpersonal commitments."
Paranoia may be evident in simple or elaborate delusions of persecution. Highly suspicious, they may feel conspired against, spied upon or cheated, or maligned by a person, group, or governmental agency. Any real or suspected unfavorable reaction may be interpreted as a deliberate attack upon them or the group. (Considering the criminal nature of some groups and the and social behavior of others, some of these fears may have more of a basis in reality than delusion!) Harder to evaluate, of course, is whether these leaders' belief in their magical powers, omnipotence, and connection to God (or whatever higher power or belief system they are espousing) is delusional or simply part of the con. Megalomania--the belief that one is able or entitled to rule the world--is equally hard to evaluate without psychological testing of the individual, although numerous cult leaders state quite readily that their goal is to rule the world. In any case, beneath the surface gloss of intelligence, charm, and professed humility seethes an inner world of rage, depression, and fear.
Two writers on the subject used the label 'Trust Bandit' to describe the psychopathic personality. Trust Bandit is indeed an apt description of this thief of our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and pocketbooks. Since a significant percentage of current and former cult members have been in more than one cultic group or relationship, learning to recognize the personality style of the Trust Bandit can be a useful antidote to further abuse.
Then I think back to Roberta’s comments about coming straight from the Da Free John community into Andrews community and I reflect on these words. Is it that the ex Cohenites just can’t accept that they have been conned, is it something in their makeup or outlook that makes them susceptible to this form of trickery. Is this why we get so many defending the indefensible . Is it in fact ego or pride that make people manufacture goodness from which there is none.
On another point is that if Andrew is a psychopathic personality or has Narcissistic personality disorder, this blog and its continuing thread is likely to unhinge him completely. Put under this kind of pressure these personality types trend to toward psychotic rage, when put under this kind of scrutiny they tend to become much worse.
So any compassion should directed to those within the community at the moment. Its very likely that these people have been put under extreme pressure since this blog started as Andrews paranoia and anger grows. If your going to say a little pray say one for them as it this will get much worse before it gets better, to some extent those who have left are lucky if he follows in the footsteps of similar examples there is much worse to come.
There are allot of posts from people who want Andrew to grow from this experience, to transcend the experience, the reality is if he actually has got a disorder of the kind described above it will be impossible for him to see what’s happening. Its likely the ‘outing’ he is receiving here will make him much much worse.
Its also likely given this kind of psychological profile that Andrew reads every single comment, his paranoia wouldn’t let him leave it alone , he could even be participating via anonymous commentary, if you read back there are these strange disruptive voices that keep appearing and my bet is that these are in fact Andrew Cohen , if you know him better take the time to read back and you will see what I mean.
Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, 18 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading that the last phase of a cult is called the 'apocolyptic phase'. This is where the leader realizes that his tenure as ruler is close to the end and he causes major problems to the world. This phase was when Applegate had everyone take poison and wait for the 'spaceship' to take them away to a better place. This was when Jim Jones had his people drink the poison Kool Aid in Guyana. This was when Koresh held up in Waco Texas and the FBI shot, and burned up many of his devotees. I hope this doesn't happen to Andrew's present group.
Andrew should be tried in criminal court and civil court and do some time and pay some money to those he abused.

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Blogger Calan said...

Well I think the Jim Jones and or Koresh comments just inflame things, no ones suggesting he’s dangerous in that context , if we use extremes to illustrate the risks, we loose the attention of the thoughtful moderates who are trying to sort this out in the minds. But that stage or 'apocolyptic phase' could manifest itself in a more subdued way, Da Free John ran away to Fiji and that’s what I suspect will happen with Andrew eventually . The problem is he’s made himself the Rupert Murdoch of the spiritual world and that gives him power, it has to be one of the reasons I suspect Ken Wilber is willing to trade in his integrity to support Andrew, he might see a greater good in the WIE’s growing empire. So there is lots of fight left in Andrew yet.
The other point I would like to emphasis is that there are people that are still in the communities being abused emotionally, psychologically and physically. My brother was in Foxhollow but I cant get him to return my calls so I’m not sure how to find him or contact him. If any of you folk who have insight into these things or advice please speak up. I got referred to this site a week ago and I have read the entire blog twice , I guess my perspective is fairly fresh in that I have a different perspective on this than most of the posters. Most of the posters speak in the context of recovery and moving forward, or creating some kind of philosophical context around his teachings, mine is a different issue altogether, how the hell do I get him out?
The last posters excellent suggestion of locking him up would be the best result. It might be more useful to see if we can get the IRS to investigate his financials. This non-profit status in dedication to spreading the teachings of Andrew Cohen is a complete Scam. I bet there are all kinds of consultants directors fees being charged. Al Capone taught us that sometimes the weakest link can be found in the ledgers. Lets face it hes got an expanding publishing empire, lots of real estate and labor costs that would shame Nike. Non-Profit just means that FACE is not for profit who is to say he isn’t charging FACE isn’t getting charged for Andrew services and spiritual leader.
My guess is that very little of this would stand much scrutiny, maybe Hal you could litigate for lost wages, Ernst youv’e had 20k taken have you thought of getting it back through the courts?, the poor girl who had the paint dumped on her would have a reasonable start at some good dollars, there are lots of angles but you folk need to work out what to do that’s practical, endlessly contemplating this stuff will help allot but it wont help the present and future students (other than to dissuade people joining him). I guess what I am asking is there a way of putting this passion to practical use and stopping this nonsense for the good of all.
And just for emphasis I want to highlight the very high likelihood that Andrew is here right with us on the blog. Think about it he can surf here anytime he like any of us without anyone knowing, he can comment anonymously and only he would know, the pathology of this kind of megalomania or narcissism almost guarantees it and if you read through the some of the loopy disruptive comments they even sound like him.

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Anonymous Walter said...

Calan I appreciate your comments. I agree Cohen is likely reading this and those loopy and nasty comments could be his.

Here is something available in the public record - check out which posts info on IRS returns of non-profits. There you can learn a lot about Cohen's organization (which Guidestar still has listed as "Moksha" which Cohen changed to "Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship" a few years ago.) Here you can find that the net assets of the organization have grown some $2 million recently (from $6 million to $8 million approximately). This raises your question, which is how are these considerable funds being used?

Your suggestion of a psychological profile of psychopath is something I've recently been reflecting on in Cohen's case. I've talked at length with a psychologist friend about Cohen and particularly about why some ex-students have so much difficulty in breaking free emotionally from their Cohen past. Part of his answer to me was a suggestion of an excellent book: "Without Conscience - The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us" by Robert Hare.

To break free of this authoritarian group, and avoid the next one, we need to have an understanding of how it works.

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Calan and above anonymous:

I absolutely agree that Andrew Cohen is extremely dangerous and unbalanced in his mental and emotional concepts. I pray for all the students that are with him now.

All former students mention how they fell in love with him in the beginning. Andrew is a Master in using the libido to the fullest extent in attracting his students. This is his greatest strength, but also will be his downfall. Like a magnet he pulls people to him and then holds them within the vortex of the libido, but his power holding has lessened and become less efectual these last 10 years. More and more students are breaking through, leaving and seeing the man clearly behind the image and the mask. The power he appears to possess is the power everyone gives over to him. With an increased tenacity and fierceness he now ccontinues to enslave spiritual seekers who are unaware of this phenonema of power holding.

The tide has definitely changed. Eventually he will suffer a total breakdown since power abused will be taken away by the Divine. He is not so sexual sin free as he claims. To evoke longins of love and desires that cannot be consummated is a powerful strategy that he employs to perfection.

He is also a Master mesmerist using the same libido power through his eyes to attract and enslave.

Many students who have left him suffer withdrawals like any lover leaving a beloved due to unrequited love.

Thank the good Lord for starting to see this man clearly for what he is doing, and celebrate your freedom from him.

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Blogger Calan said...

Thanks Walter and this is exactly what I mean . If you go to and search Moksha the following comes up for the 2003 return.

Revenue: $4,342,140

Expenses: $2,157,213

Assets: $8,461,509

Liabilities: $808,070

It looks to me that all profits are being invested into assets. Now there are a number of things that can happen here ( Hal this might suit your taste for research for your next article). Firstly where are the purchased assets coming from? they can pre purchased by an individual and sold to Moksha for a tidy profit. What does the $2.1M in expenditure eg Directors fees, Spiritual Services, Consultancy ? Who are on the board of Directors ? etc etc . Andrew Cohen's pathological greed for donations when the organization is obviously not short of cash is one of the big clues ? Why force or coerce donations when you’ve got $2.1M in extra cash ? and this doesn’t even include the Non-Profits in other countries like the UK!

Reading about (Coke machines as interesting as that might be) is really getting suckered into Andrews own game. If Andrew Cohen is a psychopathic personality he will have set up these organizations so he can drain funds into his own or other Directors pockets (maybe his wife) If he is a psychopath the whole spiritual thing is a complete sham that allows him control and large amounts of wealth. As hurtful as it would be to be duped by a complete conman that’s where I think this is heading.

Hal you can post these reports up by downloading two programs that connect to blogspot (and they are very easy to use) download Hello and Picassa. These records need to be put on this site so that all can see the reality of this so called evolution for the enlightenment of all. Follow the money and everything will unravel and in the process help allot of people understand and heal.

Back to libido and sexuality, the advantage of reading this blog in all at once is you pick up on things that others might have missed. There are a number of veiled comments about Andrew not being as pure as he claims in this area. The last post being just one of them would anyone like to elaborate ?

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be wrong but I would not agree with all those who see Andrew as an evil incarnate who is only after the power and his own egoic goals.
I think he has a lot to offer to some people, at least on the preliminary level of self-knowledge, or rather ego-knowledge, which are not the whole story of the spiritual life but an important first step.

He just needs to clean up his act… and that's a serious job, is he up to it? will he do it? Who knows?
People like him will be around as long as there is a need for that kind of “teachers” and the need is created by some unquestioned collective beliefs like; "Only someone else can show me the way to God", or "other people are more spiritual then I", etc.
or just people who think they need this kind of thing as they cannot find it anywhere else or in themselves or in existing churches or religions.
It’s a spiritual market gap he fills to cater to some of the unexamined human "wants & needs & beliefs".
As long as there is a demand for something the service will be provided sooner or later by Andrew or someone else.

Which of course does not excuse his barbaric behaviour towards the people around him a one bit.
Prostitution is also a problem, the prostitutes too provide a kind of service cataring to human needs and will be here as long as the demand exists.

So whom do we blame? The prostitutes? Or the guys who go to prostitutes for service and keep them in business?
Or just Human Ignorance?

If the guys stop going there, the prostitution would die, same with people like Andrew, as long as there is a demand for people like him, he will be in business…spiritual Sado-Masochism?...spiritual exstazy mixed with a hudge dose of existential and emotional pain, it's a volitale mixture.

I'd like to believe, although I do not know for sure, that initially AC motivation has been pure, perhaps still is and he has not set himself up to rip people off financially, emotionally and spiritually.
Yet obviously he got seriously corrupted somewhere on the way as the people around him allowed themselves to be mesmerised by him and hand him more and more power and control over their lives in the hope of getting from him whatever that was they projected,that they will get.

His financial status, over the years, also has become very powerful and perhaps being there on top, it’s extremely difficult to stay innocent and uncorrupted. Again say all that, this does not excuse his behaviour one dot.
It is the responsibility of the spiritual teacher to find skilful ways to deal with such unholy temptations, it is his own private yoga.

I think that half of the time he does not have a clue what he is doing, he is just groping in the dark, and he often said this himself that he “makes things up as he goes along”.

This is not surprising, as often noticed and expressed on this blog, he has no spiritual teacher himself, he never lived in highly structured spiritual community, he also never had normal job, family, kids, etc.
His circumstances and lifestyle is just so very uncommon, so it is understood that he might lack the understanding and wisdom to relate to people who actually have full-time jobs, family life, kids, normal friends, etc.

His only pseudo “spiritual teachers” since about year 2000 seems to be people like Ken Wilber and Don Beck, as even the language in which he present his current teaching is borrowed from the ideas and expressions from those two men, I hope that they are aware of it.
As I did not known him earlier I’m not sure who were his favourite “idols” before that.

It is all OK, as long as he himself believes in what he is saying about his teaching, that it is “made up and changed as he goes along” and do not behave as if it is the "final and absolute" teaching and imposes it cruelly on his students with no room for challenge, true free dialogue, questioning or deep inquiry.
The only possible “dialogues and deep inquiry” are usually only limited to contemplate his five tenets.

On one hand he is asking people on his retreats to “have guts, courage, think deeply” on the other hand, closer to home, he is punitively discouraging any challenge, discussions or questioning of the validity of any part of his teaching or himself as a teacher.

Again this is a very tricky and dangerous situation for any human being to be in, because if he is wrong, he will fall from a very high place and might not survive it as a spiritual teacher or even a person. His castle already started to crumble.

I think that even this very sorry situation is still remediable with a huge dose of true conscience and humility on his part.
I do assume of course that he has it.
Again, “true conscience and humility” are at the very top of his favourite topics at the retreats.

It seems that now he needs a dose of his own medicine in homoeopathic form; “Likes Cures Likes”
Lets just imagine that we all heard a story called "Andrew walks his talk":

“Andrew did decide to get a dose of his own homeopathic medicine and for the sake of all, for the sake of peace and harmony in this world, and for the sake of his own conscience and soul he decided to face everything and avoid nothing;
He quickly and extensively apologised to all the many students that have been abused while trying on them his “ever changeable, new and improved spiritual formulas” and failed.

He deeply acknowledged his responsibility and wrong doings.
He soon after sold both of his lavish estates, in Foxhollow and London, and gave all the money back to the people that over the years have been emotionally blackmailed to give it to him.
He also gave the magazine away as a Spiritual Gift to all those people who actually do all the hard work for the Magazine and to all those who have been doing it for years and left.

The rest of the money he donated to charities plus all the expensive designer clothes to go with it. He also sold his expensive cars and uses public transport, as now he feels one with the universe and started to care about the environment, experiencing it a part of his own body, mind & spirit.
As a daily spiritual practice he and his wife have chosen “service to others” and now visit all those who for years have been serving them. Now Andrew and his wife for a change do their cooking, cleaning, ironing, gardening, etc for free and are grateful for the opportunity to serve and deepen their own humility.

Afterwards he has gone into seclusion for a couple of years to reflect deeply on his actions and to find out if he still has a calling to be a spiritual teacher.
Eventually he has returned into the world, with free conscience, ever-present humility and the restored sense of purity and innocence, he has changed, and became less ignorant, more enlightened, more sensitive and aware, more compassionate.

He now supports himself as most people do in this world, as not to be regarded as “special or better”, by working as a musician and lives in a small two-bedroom house somewhere.

He and his wife share the domestic duties and responsibilities together, again as not to be regarded as “special, different or better”; they no longer have free servants.

He is still filled with spiritual enthusiasm, with grace, deep humility and he realises that the True Purpose of Enlightenment really is to serve the world and fellow human beings, to help to alleviate their suffering, rather then make fellow human beings serve him in the name of Enlightenment and contribute to world suffering.

He fulfils that purpose by running occasional retreats, renting the premises elsewhere already made for that purpose.
He keeps the cost to bare minimum and offers free places, so as many people as possible can participate, as he deeply realised that after all spiritual teaching is his true vocation in life”.

Miracles do happened.
If that were to happen I’d be the first to book myself on his retreat.


Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Blogger Calan said...

Great Post AD If he did half that I would come to a retreat as well , if I could a finesse my point about psychopaths or narcissistic personality disorder, asserting he has a personality disorder doesn’t label him as evil , about 12 % of Americans have personality disorder with about 2M people in his category. I think we get off track when we start talking about evil incarnate , imagine if mental health workers started using such terms, instead I would suggest we stay clear of the dramatic language and the colorful analogies eg comparing him to Koresh and Kool Aid Jim.

Good and Evil are the dramatic terms of the Cohen world and to some extent he needs to be demystified , that is we use the terms that commonly used in society for these individuals. Its in the mystification that we give him power and its in the evolving demystification that some (not all) will find healing. He is in fact just an average Joe with deep levels of neurosis and psychosis (my contention) . Much of the expression from followers is similar in style to romantic love where in the initial stages blinds a person to the reality of a person and in turn replaces this with projections of perfection. When the honeymoon is over and people see him to be who he really is , either the follower or the Andrew himself divorces so that the manifestation of perfection can continue with the other follower, if this bubble burst he would have a mutiny. The closest students are those ones that can blind themselves completely with this love (or obsessive attachment) and they are the ones that create an environment to continue.

Its in this mystification of his special abilities that people in some ways logically give themselves over to him, yes they empower him, absolutely but the process of empowerment requires him to placed above others, this process of empowerment requires the follow to attribute him what seem like supernatural or super human abilities , this is the nature of a charismatic leader they allow us to transcend our own humanity , in actuality it plain and simple ego grasping . We will have to agree to disagree on his value for initial spiritual seekers, to me he has the ability to set a new seeker of on a completely false direction.

The best illustration of this mystification is Roberta’s series of articles. The ego grabs on to the vision and uses it to differentiate itself , making those follows feel special. Problem is plain and simple the guy is just and average Joe , just a talented psychotic one, just like the 1/20 you meet everyday in the street, workplace or family. That’s why we here such dramatic posts from the insiders like Brad Roth (Shaolin Monk) who was (apparently)running the Uncensored site .

The interesting thing is if you print out all the emotional posts of the Cohen supporters there allot of interesting similarities in the syntax and language, for those interested printout Craig, Blenk, Shaolin , Mo and then look at the postings on the uncensored site, then trawl through the anonymous posts, you might start to see what I see strange commonalities in a turn if phrase etc . I printed the whole blog and I am in the process of cutting up and cataloging the entire blog by posting , its all speculative but its extremely interesting.

I am also reading some background material on pattern matching most often used by forensic investigators. My contention is that Andrew is using both compliant personalities as front s for his own expression as well as anonymous postings, interesting thing is that this appears to be happening on both sides , one anonymous Anti Cohen poster interjects every couple of days to steer the readers in a particular direction and you can pick his expression style a mile away, this same style can be attributed to a front page poster (I will allow him to remain nameless)

The more we demystify Andrew the more the abused will have an opportunity to heal.

I cant seem to get at the reports contained on the site mentioned above (they just wont load on my computer) if someone could take this on and post the contents it would greatly appreciated. My gut says there is some very interesting information contained in these reports, information that will paint a completely new picture of Andrew Cohen , his motivations and the reality off his so called enlightenment .

If we can show the insiders whats actually happening to the money it might open their minds and question why they are working for nothing and donating everything they have. Its easy to be altruistic about a great quest for the evolution of humanity or the cessation of suffering, its much harder if they see if that the reality is the enrichment of a few.

I am off sailing for a week but I would love to come home to some good financial data.

Thursday, 19 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calan, to answer your question, here is one example out of many why Andrew is not as pure as he claims. Even a celibate person can be impure by their actions and thoughts. One does not need to be sexually promiscuous to be impure.

Here we go. Andrew and Stash are sitting in Andrew's sports car, this comes from Stash's story. Andrew calls a former student telling her, " you are my heart, my love, you belong to me, return to me my beloved". Mary, the student sobs with longing and love for her Master as on the car stereo Andrew plays for her, are you ready people, "body and soul". The emotions are high, the sexual tension flowing at a fever pitch. What a feeding frenzy for Andrew as he pulls it all in and up together with the adoration and love of Stash. Andrew set the scene for a perfect meal, most likely ready to return to Foxhollow and have his wife for dessert as he plays for her "body and soul" as well. Tell me people is this behavior for a married man?. Would I be the wife I would kick his butt out of Foxhollow and keep the millions for myself.

When we fall in love with someone, may it be a teacher or a beloved other, we long to embrace this love fully on every level in our expression of it. We are incapable to love on a pure level which some call "the higher" right of the bat. The desires of a sexual union needs to be sacrificed first. This is no easy task. Sexual energy is power and it can free us or enslave us. In any relationship of love before having reached this pure plateau the sexual tensions are high. Sexual energy is a pervading flowing energy that can flow from one person to another. Some spiritual gurus thrive on this energy, and many deliberately evoke it in others for their own benefit and increase of spiritual power and holding of their students.

This deliberate behavior by a spiritual guru is an impure act by itself, and as mentioned just one example of many.

Friday, 20 May, 2005  
Anonymous Freebird said...

The reply to Calan re: impure act by Andrew Cohen was written by me Freebird in case you want to respond.
Thank you

Friday, 20 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calin--Your 5/20 post prior to sailing is very interesting. Are there facts and sources backing up the identification of Brad Roth as Shaolin Monk who was apparently running the Uncesored site?

Friday, 20 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anonymous responder to Calan:
I think it's safer to say that the urges that drove Andrew Cohen to entice one of his female students back by playing "Body and Soul" to her was probably more a narcissistic need for that student's lost love and adoration than sexual gratification. Although, the sexual thing may also be part of his underground and hidden narcissistic agenda.

Friday, 20 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quote from another site about the circumstantial evidence that Brad Roth is running the Uncensored site;-

"This Enlightenment" was a blog featuring re-hashed "defense of the guru" type articles, managed by Brad Roth. (Brad expertly using the "advaita shuffle" --a term, ironically, he invented--to dance the "guru shuffle" on behalf of Cohen!)

"uncensored" blog came into being on the exact same day that the "This Enlightenment?" blog-- Cohen's previous anti- What Enlightenment ??! blog--was removed , never to be seen again? Interesting "coincidence", isn't it?

Brad is apparently an ex senior student who fell from grace and is obviously trying to re enter Cohens inner circle.

As soon as these allegations were made on the Uncensored site they were removed without trace, the blog has halted completely since that posting.

Friday, 20 May, 2005  
Anonymous Rosebud said...

What I find most exciting about the former students on this blog is that no one has been suckered into another Master-slave relationship with another guru. How refreshing to learn that people are awakening to true religion within themselves without the need of human idols, and are starting to think clearly without taking on the mind set of another.

Andrew Cohen bores me to tears. He certainly has built up many worldly treasures for himself, millions, etc. I prefer spiritual treasures inside the Kingdom of God centered within myself.

I agree with Bruce that Andrew is like so many TV preachers that have come and gone.

Saturday, 21 May, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend has a list of signs indicating that one's spiritual practice is maturing.

One of the signs is:

'Loss of interest in the usual roles of domination and submission on offer in various theatres of cruelty.'

Saturday, 21 May, 2005  
Anonymous Rebecca Saxon said...

I was a serious student of Andrew's for approximately 1.5 years.

I can see for myself that the pull of Andrew's attention was (despite his saying he was "killing" the ego) actually lifting UP THE EGO. He was MAKING PEOPLE SPECIAL, AND SPECIALNESS IS EGO.

Ego is what knocked people down when they were "wrong" and it propped them up when they were "right" in Andrew's eyes. I could have given up my own life for him if he had stroked my ego MORE IN THE NAME OF KILLING THE EGO.

He is doing the exact opposite of what he says he is doing. He is walking ego.

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010  

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