Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Call To Action And A Letter To Bill O’Reilly

P.O.’ed Old Man Leads The Way

Recently, a new contributor to What Enlightenment??! has been leading a rousing call to action against the authoritarian abuse and exploitation of followers by self-styled "guru" Andrew Cohen. P.O.'ed Old Man explained that he is the grandfather of a victim of Cohen's manipulation and abuse. PO'ed felt most of us were making a mistake--we shouldn't just get mad, we should do something about it:
My grand daughter spent 5 years with Andrew and she never spoke a word to me during that time. I read some of his stuff and I think you folks miss the point , there is a lot of fancy language around what he says but he seems to me to be simply a fraud who takes advantage of people. My grand daughter now visits me all the time, she’s not very well, though. Andrew took a beautiful women and turned her into a fearful depressed person, it’s like he sucked the spirit out of her and left only a confused shell.

I appreciate all of your contributions I have read them all it makes me sad to see what’s happened to my grand daughter, really sad that a life has been so destroyed by someone she chose to put trust in. I hope one day someone finds a way of stopping him.

P.O.'ed suggested in another comment going after Cohen's "Achilles heel"—his financial exploitation of followers. He explained he would do it himself, but for his advanced age:
These kinds of cults always have a shadow side. Some of this shadow is exposed through this blog, I am sure there are more lies and deceit below the surface. People who act like this are usually projecting some hidden truths. My bet is that his financial model is very tightly controlled. No one really knows what’s happening except for a few (probably outside the community), these accountants and lawyers would have created not for profit trusts that are under the control of Andrew, these trusts are the then siphoned by way of special charges for consultancy , dubious outside services .My grand daughter was continuously asked for money, she gave over some $28,000 in the last 2 years.

The focus on financial donation I believe shows his weakness. I believe an IRS audit and exposure of how his multi million dollar empire is run would go a long way toward bringing his evil empire down.

If I was younger I would do it myself.

In further posted comments, P.O.'ed got quite specific in his recommendations for how former Cohen followers could empower themselves and stop further abuse by Cohen, suggesting the questions that should be asked, and a course of action to get an investigation started:
Does he for instance draw down as a cost of providing leadership services?
Does he pay his wife a wage?
Are the charges that make up the costs reasonable expenses?
Are assets sold to third parties for below market rates ?
Are assets bought from third parties at above market rates?
Who are the directors of the non profit trust ? What are their fees for such services?
The laws and compliance issues around not for profits require substantial paperwork and compliance to federal laws, from what I have told he seems to have an obsession with money so I wouldn’t be surprised that this might be the key to his undoing.

all you need is a tenacious accountant most of the stuff you need can be found on the public record.

There are other things you could find out as well. there maybe directors who are also benefit from his favor at the magazine. These directors could be targeted (for instance the spiral dynamics guy). If I was younger I would do it myself.

I have some experience here and I find it odd that he qualifies under the federal laws required for non profits, in fact I would be amazed if he did. If doesn’t provide any community services of any substance. the fact that he writes books hardly qualifies him under federal law nor does running a commune.

So I would be interested in any comments that specifically outline the structure of his organization and financial affairs. I have read back through here and apart from the summary liabilities, income and assets I have not detected a lot of depth in understanding in these issues by the ex members.

Does he keep these issues separate?

Does he employ outsiders in order to quarantine knowledge of these issues from members?

If it’s all been explored before fair enough, my apologies

And:
I think you should all petition the IRS to ask for a full investigation of the activities and accounts of the organization

IRS at 1-800-829-0433

I think you should also contact the Congressman John Oliver and alert them to this website and request an investigation.

http://www.house.gov/olver/welcome.html

Those of you who have more serious cases of abuse should take the time make a sworn statement to accompany a personal letter to Congressman Oliver.

You should also send sworn statements to Senator John Kerry and Edward Kennedy

Folks this is America believe in the system, believe in your cause and make the effort. I will have my granddaughter to do the same.

Hal, I would also suggest you print this blog with accompanying financial statements and send to every news organization in the country requesting and investigation .

Cohen’s story would make very good press as he is living like a billionaire. The mansions, international travel and cars make good press. 60 minutes would make him look like the greedy cruel man you have all found him to be.

Only then will many of you get the peace that you deserve.

To make it easy for anyone who wants to take P.O.'ed up on his call to action, in a subsequent posted comment, he provided us with more numbers to call:
Call the IRS today and request they investigate EnlightenNext Inc for fraud at 1-800-829-0433.

Call Congressman John Oliver 202-225-5335 and request he investigate the non profit status on Enlightennext Inc and the fraudulent practices of self proclaimed guru Andrew Cohen.

But, despite his age, P.O.'ed isn't stopping there. Showing the fortitude, tenacity and just plain guts that must have helped this vet get through many tough scrapes before in his long life—and calling to mind the "we're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore" attitude that it takes to stop a shameless manipulator and abuser like Cohen, now P.O.'ed has written to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, calling for Cohen's harmful antics to be publicized and the public warned by putting him on O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone."

P.O.'ed is an example to all of us of how not to lie down for abusers and exploiters like Cohen, but get up and do something about them. His letter to O'Reilly, which he copied to us and asked me to post, is reproduced below:

Letter To Bill O'Reilly
by P.O.'ed Old Man

Dear Bill,

I am 81 year old retired war vet I enjoy your show and watch it every day .

About 9 years ago my grand daughter joined a cult run by self styled guru Andrew Cohen. During the time she was in the cult she never spoke to myself or her parents. About 4 years ago she eventually realized that the leader was a manipulative and abusive person and left. When she tried to leave she was subject to harassment and physical abuse. Since then she has tried to take her own life but the worst seems to be over. Her doctor attributes her bipolar disorder to the shocking abuse she received directly at the hands of Andrew Cohen.

My granddaughter is not alone. Literally hundreds of people have suffered a the hands of this so called guru. A victim’s site called What Enlightenment??! can be found at this URL:
http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.com

and here
http://essentialwhatenlightenment.blogspot.com

Please read the stories of these people carefully and you will see a deplorable pattern of abuse that literally goes back 2 decades. Even his mother wrote a damning book on the her son:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1570270430/104-7246142-2626303?v=glance&n=283155

and there have been many other books from ex cult members. You can find a good summary of his history here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Cohen

Cohen travels the world, drives luxury cars and lives on a 220 acre estate in Lenox, MA, all under the umbrella of a non profit organization called Enlightennext Inc. I have provided links to this cult leader’s financial returns below. This guru pays himself exorbitant wages and director’s fees while his followers (volunteers) get paid nothing. This man is laughing at America, he is destroying people’s lives and dodges taxes by abusing the purpose of his non profit tax structure.

Bill, I fought for America and this isn’t the America I fought for and its not the America many of my fallen friends fought to protect. This guy is laughing at us all!

Please do an old man a favor and put this guy in the “No Spin” zone for me.

This guy needs to be stopped and the laws need to be changed so people cannot abuse the non profit protection designed to protect bono fide charities. I am getting a little old to take part but I am sure you can find plenty of ex cult members. I have asked the ones who would like to provide information to email you directly. I think seeing justice done would help my granddaughter heal. Thanks in advance. Put the bastard on full cycle and spin him good.

ENLIGHTENNEXT INC
P.O. Box 2360
Lenox, MA 01240
Mission
SPIRITUAL TEACHING AND COUNSELING.
Programs
TO PROVIDE SPIRITUAL SEMINARS, PUBLICATIONS AND COUNSELING.

2004
2004 Guidestar Financial Docs

2003
2003 Guidestar Financial Docs

2002
2002 Guidestar Financial Docs

The following are links to the UK financial reports
http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/ScannedAccounts%5CEnds01%5C0001050701_ac_20041231_001_01_e_c.pdf


http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/ScannedAccounts%5CEnds01%5C0001050701_AC_20031231_001_01_E_C.pdf


http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/showcharity.asp?remchar=&chyno=1050701

CC Hal please copy this to the site minus my email address and identification details . I want everyone who wants to participate to email Bill O’Reilly asap. I feel comfortable the Bill will pick this up and run with it and even if he doesn’t somebody at Fox will. I want to put this guy behind bars where he belongs.

32 Comments:

Blogger gniz said...

Thanks for posting this call to action.
I may not be a fan of Bill O'Reilly, but I think PO'ed Old Man is on the right track nonetheless.
Regardless of what anyone may think about Andrew's "oneness with the universe" or whatever he is billing it as these days, the fact is that he is running a sham non-profit. Leave everything else out of it and focus on something practical.
This area will yield results.
Clearly, a lot of ex-members and people once involved in his inner circle read this blog.
Many of them can shed light on this.

Take care

Aaron

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I could be wrong but I don't think many ex-students actually want to take Andrew down. Yes, we want to shine a light on what really goes on inside his community and to encourage current and potential future students to think hard about whether they want to be subjected to such a life. The lack of disclosure to fledgling students of the conditions they will be subjected to reeks of cultism and borders on criminality.

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Blogger Pissed Off Old Man said...

Is this America's model of a non profit organisation? . We as American's have every right to expect justice to prevail this is a democracy and it's mine as well as yours and we all have every right to speak. Lets not use dramtic language just lets say "let true justice prevail"

When in America did art galleries and conference centers become non profit. Where are the soup kitchens where are the needy being helped. I frankly do not understand.

Who got paid +600k last year in wages and directors fees?

This is not just about Anbdrew Cohen this is a major political issue. With $32 Trillion in unfuned liabilites and aging population I am sorry to say that we congress looking inot this we simply cannot afford it. Let him pay tax like every American.

http://www.38cameron.com/index.htm

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Blogger gniz said...

Maybe a lot of ex-students dont want to "take Andrew down" as Anonymous put it. My question to you would be, why not?
He has dragged a lot of people down and he is making a lot of money off their backs. On top of that, his organization benefits from a basic premise that is false--which is that he is running a nonprofit.
Andrew makes a lot of money off misinformation and extortion.
Whether or not he gets taken down primarily depends on if he cooks his books or not.
So nobody should feel responsible if he gets "taken down" by his own misdeeds.

Respectfully

Aaron

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Anonymous longtime said...

To the previous poster re "wanting to take Cohen down."
It isn't a question of what I personally want, but a question of the truth coming out and Cohen facing his own fate in that.

- a longtime former student

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PO'ed says, 60 minutes would make him look like the greedy cruel man you have all found him to be. He's wrong...we have not all found him to be greedy and cruel.

Sunday, 26 March, 2006  
Blogger gniz said...

Let me just reiterate the point: The only way Cohen is going to be taken down is if he cooked his books, lied about qualifying as a non-profit, or is proven to have extorted money as is claimed on this blog.
I personally have no vested interest in him being taken down, aside from the fact that I find his stated views to be utterly preposterous.
If people want to be taken in by a scam artist like Cohen, far be it for me to stand in their way.

Aaron

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Blogger gniz said...

The Problem with Gurus

Here’s an interesting dilemma regarding all of the back-and-forth about the voracity of Andrew Cohen’s enlightenment.

Nobody knows if Andrew Cohen is enlightened, except—maybe—Andrew Cohen himself.

Nobody really knows what Andrew’s intentions are, or if he is really doing good on such a grand scheme and we are just too dumb and too far down on the Spiral Dynamic food chain to figure it out.

With spiritual gurus, we are always at square one. Do they know anything, are they frauds, is it all just “crazy wisdom” or maybe a guy with a god complex who still harbors ill will toward his mommy? Nobody knows.

Nobody really knows.

So, that leads us back to practical solutions. Maybe Andrew Cohen is enlightened, but we don’t know. Here’s the thing, though. We can follow the chain of evidence in terms of the legitimacy of things he is involved in that aren’t part of the enlightened universe. Okay, maybe he is a master on the spiral dynamic food chain, but he still runs a business, and last time I checked, businesses don’t obey the rules of Andrew Cohen’s universe. Does being enlightened also mean you are required to run a fraudulent business model? Is part of it that you are required to drive fancy cars, wear lots of cheesy looking vests, play extravagant drum solos and extort money from your disciples?

I’m just asking. Many people obviously care a lot about Andrew even after he has sliced and diced them and thrown them out with next morning’s garbage. Despite Andrew’s claims that enlightenment is “impersonal” and that your history doesn’t matter, a lot of his ex-followers still care about “poor” Andrew’s history and personal care. They don’t want to cause him unnecessary discomfort. Too bad for them, these feelings aren’t mutual. Too bad for them, Andrew will hang them out to dry and then laugh at their misfortune. Just a few more cases of collateral damage on the road to group evolution.

My point is this. Look at the evidence. Maybe he is enlightened. He can be enlightened in jail. He can be enlightened working at a grocery store like thousands of other regular people who do just fine working at grocery stores or other menial jobs. Can’t Andrew handle coming down to earth like everyone else?

I have read a great deal of Osho’s discourses and books. My teacher studied directly under Osho (Bhagwan Rajneesh). He was at least as controversial a figure as Cohen and yet his words resonate with me. I believe he offered something to my teacher and therefore myself.

But I am glad Osho’s group fell apart and I am glad that at least one of his disciples went to prison. At the end of the day, his report card on the physical plane stunk to high heaven. His movement was utterly corrupt.

Like any extremist group, Andrew Cohen’s gang of fools will also bite the dust. And when they do, it isn’t going to matter to me whether or not he or any of the others are enlightened.

It might make a difference to Andrew. Because when the shit hits the fan and he ends up relatively alone, he’ll finally be left facing the truth about himself.

-Aaron

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, think his being brought down by the fallout from his organization's financial practices is just fine! Anyone who has kept up with this blog knows how destructive this man has become. He apparently carries on with impunity like a power-drunk, sadistic dictator, and has very likely ruined, or at least damaged lives over the years. This activity should be sanctioned under not for profit status? I don't think so!

However - speaking of "abuse and exploitation" - Bill O'Reilly???
Jees! Talk about power mad, narcissists! I do think a more suitable rep to spearhead this whole thing might be found. I wouldn't trust BO'R any more that I would AC!

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, we’re not all going to agree on Bill O’Reilly, who is undoubtedly controversial in his own right. But the point here is to expose Andrew Cohen for his corrupt and abusive practices, so let each do what they find is most effective.

I have just sent the following letter to several of the media in my area. Feel welcome to use it or modify it as needed.
- a reader


Dear Editor,
(magazine, newspaper or TV station)

There is a growing controversy swirling around a western Massachusetts guru named Andrew Cohen, accused of authoritarian physical and psychological abuse and financial exploitation of his followers. His organization is called EnlightenNext and is located at the 220 acre Foxhollow estate in Lenox MA.

Recently, reports have emerged of a former student’s attempted suicide and the death of an elderly woman several years ago both linked to psychological trauma and harassment at the hands of Cohen and his group. Numerous reports exist of the use of physical force and intimidation, humiliation and mind control techniques on disciples, and the use of high pressure techniques, including ostracization, guilt and the threat of further abuse to extract large financial “contributions.” Many students have fled the group’s Lenox compound in the middle of the night. One heiress was “persuaded” to lie to her family in order to make the $2 Million contribution that made purchase of the Foxhollow estate possible, and later fled to escape further abuse. Former students have gradually been revealing the depths of disturbing authoritarianism and manipulation hidden behind the group’s slick and sophisticated “evolutionary consciousness” veneer.

(It is a coincidence that Foxhollow is located only a block from the former estate of the Bible Speaks Church, where the famous trials occurred in the 1980’s over undue duress being applied to donors of that commune. The donor won her case.)

To date almost no publications have covered Andrew Cohen and his organization, except for some fawning press arranged by Cohen’s active PR department. Yet this controversy is now reaching a boiling point – wouldn’t you want to be actively involved in covering this important breaking story?

There is a website covering this controversy, published by ex-students of Cohen’s, called WHAT enlightenment? This blog contains many well documented stories of abuse, including physical assaults, financial extortion, and extreme psychological abuse.

http://www.whatenlightenment.blogspot.com/
and also http://essentialwhatenlightenment.blogspot.com/


I feel that this is a very important emerging story that your media outlet would do well to cover in detail.

Sincerely,

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Blogger Barry said...

I've got to respond and say that I seriously object to the tone and intent of the recent posts by Aaron and PO'd Old Man. Free exchange of information, experience and opinions is one thing. Attempts to create a media scandal and incite widespread public ridicule cross the line as being vicious and petty. I feel these posts also color this blog with quite a different tone (in a negative sense) than has been expressed up until now.

Without defending any of the actions that have taken place, I just have to say that whether you like them or not, actions within the community cannot be understood or judged without understanding the context within which those actions take place.

Barry Gross
gross.barry@gmail.com

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Barry. I am pretty disturbed by what's taking place on this blog right now. Like Barry, I don't support many of the actions that have been described here on this blog that have taken place in Cohen's community. I have done so by addressing my concerns via letters and dialogue with Andrew and members of the community. They have responded and there is a dialogue is taking place in both directions, carefully, honestly and respectfully when and where possible.
It seems that this blog now jumps to support spilling blood and at attempts to take the situation down around Andrew. Yuk!
Headlining Pissed Off Old Man's efforts to go to Bill O'Reilly? Please! With all due respect to PO'd Old Man's, I thought this blog had a little more sophistication in its discourse.

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Blogger Hal said...

I'm sorry but I think the actions of Andrew have gone way beyond the realm of polite dialogue--physical assaults, pouring paint over a student, confining students to rooms painted with "blood," demanding large "contributions" for "karmic debts", psychologically traumatizing an elderly woman leading to her death, psychologically traumatizing a fragile woman leading to her suicide attempt--the list of abusive conduct goes on and on.

It is hard to fathom the depths to which the situation sunk--and that we were part of it! But, as is said, it is the truth that will set us free. I think we who can see what has happened and what is happening have a duty to warn others and stop the deception. The point isn't to "embarass" anyone--it is to warn and prevent further harm. I applaud those who are brave enough to put themselves on the line and try to stop the deceit and abuse.

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous Tessa Manning said...

Hello,
I wanted to drop you a line after reading through your blog. I found it shocking, disheartening, honest, forthright, and very necessary.

I don't know Andrew Cohen and have never been a student of his in any fashion. However, I did have a very powerful "awakening" experience a few years ago and have struggled to integrate and make sense of that experience since then. To a certain extent I can empathize with Andrew -- I know that these kind of experiences can be very profound and charged with a certain degree of luminosity. Having others around who validate or inflate that profoundness can make it all the more difficult to come back down to earth. Yet, even an "enlightened" human being is still a human being and it's important for any sincere seeker to be aware of that. You have done a service for seekers everywhere.

Regards,
Tessa

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Blogger Pissed Off Old Man said...

Dear Barry,

I am not interested in dialogue I believe the law has been broken and as an American citizen I simply want an investigation.

I have no interest in the philosophy of Andrew Cohen . Your concurrence to my actions has not been requested not shall it be.

I have every right under the constitution to speak my mind freely and demand justice be done where the law has been broken. If he innocent then he will be judged innocent by our system.

Allowing multi million dollar businessman to hide under the petticoat of the Non Profit system is outrageous and I for one will be requesting that Congress make ammendments to the law so it can no longer occur.

Ring the IRS today and ask for a full investigation of the activities and accounts of the Elightennext Inc

IRS at 1-800-829-0433

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous Dragan said...

I applaud the old man and wonder about all of us who still uphold a belief that spirituality is somehow above humanity, that spiritual charity, whose objective is to educate people and advance human evolution, should somehow be left unchallenged and allowed to continue with its criminal tactics of mental and physical abuse, deceit, lies and extortion, leaving in its wake human casualties instead of human victories.

Dragan
solray@btopenworld.com

Monday, 27 March, 2006  
Anonymous paula said...

Dear Friends old and new

I have resisted posting anything on this blog until now, since although I understand from my own experience (15 years as a student of Andrew’s) how important it is to be able to freely discuss everything that happened within his community so that we might find our inner peace again, I have often been really ill at odds with the brickbats flying from all sides on the blog. And never more so than now. I am shuddering at where this is all leading, and I heartily agree with Barry, in that I have no wish to see Andrew “go down”. And in answer to Hal’s last posting, it is one thing to cast light on all the really heavy things we went through in Andrew’s community, so that others can be forewarned and go in with their eyes wide open, but it is entirely another to heap destructive vengeance upon it. Although I can’t speak for others, I think it’s a safe bet to say that most of us former students feel the same way. After all, surely it was being sickened by such “eye for an eye” mentality which spurred us on to follow the spiritual path in the first place?

It seems no coincidence to me that this sudden aggressive change of tone has come in the wake of one of the most beautiful and striking postings I’ve read on the blog – that of Roberta. You didn’t have to agree with everything she said in that posting (I for one, didn’t) to be hit by the radiant spirit shining through. Everything in me was crying, “Yes, yes, yes!” to that wonderful spirit. God knows, Roberta has faced it all in that community, and had more than her fair share of grovelling in the deep dark holes, and to hear her speak in that liberated way made sense of everything which has gone before. Yes, we have all gone through incredible challenges and suffering, disillusionment, anger, intense guilt and shame, so much guilt and shame, driven to the edge of real insanity, and it has taken me nearly four years to rediscover that inner peace which I felt so blessed to have been graced with during my happier times as Andrew’s student. I was horrified to read Mario’s piece about Caroline – I wept and wept when I read it. Then again, equally horrified to read Stas’s revelation about Vimala Thakar’s letter to Andrew in which it became clear that she did not support Andrew’s demoralising treatment of us women. This particularly drove a knife through my heart, since I was one of the band of women Andrew took to meet Vimala when we all disgraced ourselves in such a victimised and hopelessly pathetic way, and lost in my own neurosis, I never recovered from this crazy meeting.

And there is more that I have heard since which has made my heart shrink and quiver, yet, and I say, yet, there is that place always alive and moving inside every one of us which genuinely is untouched by all of it, and it is that which Roberta shared with us in her beautiful writing. It is the place Andrew spoke about when he captured our hearts, and it is the place which sages the world over are speaking about. And I share with Roberta her sense that even though we have all been to hell and back, there is a whole incredible world out here outside Andrew’s community and we are all an intricate part of it. We don’t need to hang our heads in shame, we are not burning in hell (as I thought for two long and painful years that I was), and thus we do not need blame and vengeance to become whole.

Wouldn’t that right all the perceived wrongs if we who have left Andrew’s community were all able to stand united as sane, whole, loving human beings, living with true independence in Oneness?

With Much Love to you all,
Paula

paula.hollings@freeuk.com

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Barry and others who object to some of the more recent tone on What Enlightenment?, I wonder how they would expect the dialog to progress. The critics of this new tone of “blood baths” and “public ridicule” would have us instead confine ourselves to private letters to Cohen and company, or to refraining from calls for Cohen’s public censure. Where will the cautious, civil approach lead us? Is Cohen really going to respond meaningfully to “careful, honest, respectful” letters written to him in confidence? Really, are we to wait for that, when in 20 years he has not once taken any criticism to heart and apologized and changed any of his ways?

Yes there is a calling here to “incite public ridicule”, but isn't the general public the arena we all have to live in, and live by? The issue of Andrew is much bigger than just a family feud, which we should all keep confidential and under wraps. In fact it is the "family" aspect that Andrew has used successfully all these years to keep everyone quiet and allow him to carry on without any monitor on his terrible ways.

So if things do get pretty ugly, and publicly so, isn't this just a part of the inevitable process of throwing open the blinds and letting the light of day into what had been a dark chamber of private horrors? Isn't this kind of secrecy what an abuser uses to protect himself, and keep on doing what he likes, year after year?

No, let's let all the laundry out to dry, publicly. It's the only way to stop any serial abuser I've ever heard of.

And I have to say that my goal in all this is more than just some personal resolution and personal peace of mind, my goal is to see the serial abuse come to a complete stop. Full Stop.

A former student

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Blogger dharmacloud said...

For those who haven't noticed the link at the bottom of the main post, there's an interesting discussion about current events here on Jody's always interesting and enlightening blog Guruphiliac. Jody is a bit critical of this blog's apparent running with O'Reilly fan rabble rousing. (Jody, like a good jnani, has an interesting but critical perspective on most things).

Anyway, as I couldn't help saying on the subject over at Guruphiliac, although I usually try to stay as far away from the cliche zone as the spin zone, sometimes strange times make strange bedfellows, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

And, Paula, there would be a lovely irony to have Cohen--who is reported to have supported Bush's invasion of Iraq and to have disparaged students who did not as being wimpy bleeding heart liberals virally infected with the "mean green meme"--spun dry on high by O'Reilly.

Personally, I'd rather rhumba with Red Emma than tango with O'Reilly, but a girl can't always dictate who signs her dance card.

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you would have been the ones standing at the side of the road, in Jerusalem, 2000 years ago, shouting 'crucify him', and P O'ed old man would have been one of the supporters of the Roman Empire trying to stir things up, without a stitch of true love in his heart...p.o.ed because of his granddaughter...otherwise probably not even giving a hoot...is it fair that one grumpy old man looking at things from a particular viewpoint should cause so much trouble? And, remember that this blog is made up of former Cohen people, and that virtually anytime anyone with something positive to say has come on, he/she has been attacked. This whole thing is disgusting, cynical, narrow-minded, and undignified. It makes me sad, because I have spent so much of my time believing that we, the 'spiritual seekers' really want something different for this troubled world. Maybe Cohen isn't the answer, but neither is this. Is P.O.ed old man now the leader of the righteous brigade taht will correct our wrongs and establish a wonderful new and just world? And, will Hal then feel satisfied that he got in the last word, rather than his former Master? Sick, sick stuff.

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that in order to legally stop Andrew Cohen, you’d have to have proof that he did something to break the law.

For instance, if someone voluntarily gives his organization money, I don’t think there’s much that can be done about it (except to expose him on web sites such as this).

I’m guessing that he keeps his finances in good order and everything is accounted for according to his status as a non-profit.

But what about the physical assaults? If several people took him to court for the face slapping and throwing of paint, and there were witnesses, then maybe he could be charged. I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m guessing that’s a possibility.

Bill O’Reilly probably wouldn’t touch it unless there’s hard evidence. A person in this country is innocent until proven guilty. At this point, aren’t all of the allegations against Andrew hearsay?

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Dragan said...

The previous post compared Jesus with Andrew. This is the fundamental illusion here. Spirituality is about calling a spade spade.

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster who seems to think Andrew is Jesus, and this blog is run by Roman persecutors:

What is "sick?"

What is sick is letting a serial abuser like Andrew continue his abuse without speaking out

What is sick is not warning others when someone who pretends to be a spiritual teacher is an authoritarian manipulator and exploiter

What is sick is not stopping the insanity and cruelty by Cohen that has been amply documented on this blog, but instead enabling it by your silence and inaction.

Tuesday, 28 March, 2006  
Anonymous Pissed Off Old Man said...

Open letter to Enlightennext Inc Board Directors

Non Profit 22-2951275

Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship Inc
850 Summer Street
Lee MA 01238
Lenox MA

Andrew Cohen
Cathy Snow
Robert Voss
Jeffrey Carreria
Gerard Senai

The Board directors of Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship Inc are by definition fiduciaries, this is a legal duty that takes precedence over the narrower roles you may also play within the community of Andrew Cohen.

As fiduciaries, you are each responsible for setting the strategic direction and policies for Enlightennext to achieve its mission .

You represent Elightennext Inc to the public and are answerable to it.
Unlike any volunteer, advisor or special-interest member, you are "legally"
accountable for the effective and appropriate use of the nonprofit’s monetary and human resources and for the health, sustainability, and vitality of the organization.

Because of your special responsibilities, fiduciaries are called upon to ask the difficult questions and to make hard, even unpopular decisions.

It is the board that may have to prompt the executive director to consider budgetary cuts, to shift direction to meet changing community needs, or to think more strategically about potential growth opportunities. It is the board that is legally responsible for ensuring that Elightennext is forfilling its legal and statutary obligations as a registered non profit organisation.

It is the board that must decide to ask an executive director to step aside.

Fiduciaries are also responsible for the board’s own health, effectiveness, and sustainability. A well-organized, engaged board can carry out its oversight duties effectively, while a dysfunctional or passive board cannot.

Part of the board’s role then, is to structure itself appropriately, recruit and replenish its membership, orient new members to their critical role as fiduciaries, train and develop its leaders, and provide for succession planning.

The board, too, may need to decide to ask its board chair to step down, an under-performing board member to resign, or to revamp its board’s governance or committee structure to meet changing needs.

Ultimately, a director is more than just a volunteer, or advisor, an ambassador or advocate. Although these roles are all important, they are only pieces of the overall charge – as a fiduciary on behalf of the public.


The board must – first and foremost – be able to recognize and describe its accountability, asking the questions: How does our organization define its community? Who is our constituency? Who are we accountable to? Any member of the public may ask you for this information

Why ask these particular questions first? In an alarming study of boards in New York and Connecticut published in The Nonprofit Quarterly (Summer 2002), Judith Miller found that when nonprofit board members were asked about their perspectives on accountability, over 70% of them believed that they were accountable only to their fellow board members, or to no one at all.

Miller also addressed the “dual ownership” responsibility that nonprofit boards have: board members have both a legal responsibility to discharge a public benefit/purpose, and an ethical obligation to meet the expectations of those on whose behalf the organization exists. John Carver, one of the founders of the more traditional policy-governance model, uses the term “moral ownership” to describe this dual role. How can a board assume “moral ownership” if it is not clear who, in fact, it is accountable to?

May I sugesst that in this regard both members and ex members still share "moral ownership" of Elightennext Inc. Further that as Board Members you expected to determine Elightenext Inc's policies and procedures . They are the safety steps you take to ensure your ultimate service works smoothly.
Without them, if anything goes wrong , you can expect your critics to look for your policies and procedures — and to blame the board if they are not in place.

So what kind of policies and procedures should you have? Although they will vary somewhat according to the size and type of organization, here are some
suggestions:

Board policies
Board job descriptions
Board self-evaluation
Board nomination process
Conflict of interest policy
Confidentiality policy
Personnel policies
Hiring and firing policies
Harassment policies
Whistleblower policy
Conflict of interest and confidentiality policies Others Document destruction policy Code of Ethics

I request that these policies be published immediately and for you to advise the owners http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.com of their location so that interested parties and members of the public may view these documents.
Please send these documents to whatenlightenment@hotmail.com


The conflict of interest policies are especially important.

These policies will help avoid intermediate sanctions penalties — and the headlines of your local paper or people like Bill Oreilly taking an interest in your affairs. The IRS considers these policies so important that it now requires organizations seeking tax-exemption to submit conflict of interest policies along with their Forms 1023.

Significant and serious allegations have been raised with respect to the proper conduct by directors of Enlightennext Inc of their fiduciary responsibilities. We ask those directors to respond to those concerns or we seek the investigation of the Attorney General so that the public may be satisfied as to the proper operation of Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship Inc.

A public charity is an entity that is nonprofit, which has a primary purpose to provide assistance or service benefiting an indefinite portion of the public other than the nonprofit's own membership. In addition to philanthropic organizations and foundations, a few examples of public charities include nonprofit hospitals, universities and schools, churches, social service providers, museums, cultural organizations, and youth sports organizations.

Charities provide vital services in our communities. They also enjoy certain benefits due to their tax exempt status, and assume certain obligations as a result of those benefits.

The Attorney General's responsibility to represent the public interest in the proper use and solicitation of charitable funds includes the authority to take steps, including lawsuits, to ensure that charities are meeting donors' expectations, that charitable donations are not diverted or wasted, and that charities are acting as responsible stewards of their assets. The Attorney General's authority includes protecting the public from both fraudulent or deceptive fund-raising practices and the misapplication of donated funds. In addition, the Attorney General has authority to ensure that charity officials fulfill their fiduciary duties of loyalty to the charity and of due care in properly seeing that the charities carry out their mission.

As such I have copied this email to David Capeless District Attorney and representative of the Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly . We are seeking that the Attorney General make further investigations so that ascertain whether this non profit is being properlyu conducted according to law.

Att David Capeless
District Attorney
OFFICE ADDRESS: 7 North Street
P.O. Box 1969
Pittsfield, MA 01202-1969
PHONE: (413) 443-5951
FAX: (413) 499-6349

Hal please publish this letter it has been sent to the Attorney General Tom Reilly , District Attorney David Copeless, Enlightennext Inc Directors (Andrew Cohen,Cathy Snow,Robert Voss,Jeffrey Carreria,Gerard Senai) and Fox Television (Bill Oreilly)

Wednesday, 29 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regards to the comment about being 'sick'...The Man said, remove th log from your own eye, before removing the splinter from the other persons.

Wednesday, 29 March, 2006  
Blogger Nunzia said...

I definitely hope he will hear you out and spin this guy. You are right, it is a disgrace.

Thursday, 30 March, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, Cathy Snow is sure getting used. Looking at the revenues collected by Andrew and Jeffery Carraria, one wonders why a dedicated worker putting in 35 to 45 hours per week gets paid $0. I see by looking at the previous Guidestar financial docs that she has never been paid. Wonder if she has been thanked? Wonder why Andrew and Jeffery don't donate their time and efforts to the cause? Looking at the dollars and cents aspect of this story leaves me feeling disgusted.
Guess the fact that she is just a "woman" makes it easy to use her and abuse her.

Friday, 31 March, 2006  
Anonymous Stuart said...

> Looking at the revenues
> collected by Andrew and Jeffery
> Carraria, one wonders why a
> dedicated worker putting in 35
> to 45 hours per week gets paid
> $0.

If someone is working for free, and doesn't have a gun to his or her head, I don't feel it's much of my concern. Let the person decide for himself what to give, what to negotiate for in return.

Let the information and opinions flow freely, but don't force anyone to do or refrain from doing what they want. Where's the need to "bring Andrew down"? Why? Anyone who doesn't want to be under his thumb can decide to do so for themselves.

If you crusade to the IRS to take Andrew's money, I have absolutely no faith at all that the government will do any less mischief with it than Andrew. Likely, a whole lot more mischief.

Tuesday, 11 April, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, we should determine where the extorted money will do the least mischief and act accordingly?

Wednesday, 12 April, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It says Andrew got paid $52,000/year.

Hardly what I call 'living like a billionaire'.

Probably as much money PO'ed man makes off of Social Security.

And one more thing that has been missing....

Where is PO'ed's daughter? If she is so messed up she should be on here giving her account. Instead, its some protective grandfather breathing fire, who thinks that O'Reilly 'No Spin Zone' is good media, and is using the usual 'Im a veteran' argument.

I wonder why she didn't talk to him for five years. He's probably an old republican coot.

I actually empathize for her. Now she is probably surrounded by people who definitely cannot relate to her after five years with Andrew Cohen's spiritual community.

This guy's idea of spirituality is probably watching sunday night football.

my cynical two-cents.

Thursday, 01 June, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A. Cohen is a vampire, a fraud, and he clearly represents a serious danger to naive and gullible spiritual seekers.

Clearly, as evidenced in previous comments, even some of his now ex-followers are so "messed-up" that they care not, nor are they willing to do anything about preventing other unfortunate souls from straying into his sinister web.

It is sad and even disgusting, that such people would continue to foolishly defend an individual such as A. Cohen who has manipulated and abused so many.

What is the matter with such people? Why have they left Cohen, but then still excuse and defend him? They are just as complicit as he is if they try to excuse, rationalize, justify, or defend, or even simply turn their heads and ignore Cohen's twisted actions, manipulations, and personal abuses to them and others.

A. Cohen is just as manipulative, deceiptful, and as dangerous as was the likes of Charlie Manson, Jim Jones, Franklin "Bubba Free" Jones (Adi Da), Sai Baba, the Hare Krishna cult murderers, the Sant Mat cult gurus, and more recently the new guru-couple: Bhagavan Kalki & Amma.

This A. Cohen character should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He should be jailed and sued for libel, and his cult dis-banded. He is a fraud and a vile disgrace to the great tradition of true esoteric spirituality and mysticism.

One of my oldest best friends just happens to be the brother of Brit Hume of Fox News. I am referring this entire case to him personally to pass on to FOX, Bill O'Reilly, etc. etc.

PO'ed Old Man, rest assured that this sob A. Cohen's guru days are numbered.

Thursday, 20 July, 2006  
Blogger themeanderingmushroomman said...

whale hears the thing ladies and gents =

" . . is it all just “crazy wisdom” or maybe a guy with a god complex who still harbors ill will toward his mommy? Nobody knows.

Nobody really knows."

true true ~ nobody nose BUTT if it walks like a duck, smells like a taco, and dances like a hooker it probably is one.

Friday, 27 January, 2012  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home