Psychedelics, Cults and Predators
let’s talk about undue influence
There is a good chance if you are reading this email when it arrived in your inbox, I am sitting on a Cult Recovery discussion group with Cult Expert Janja Lalich. Janja is brilliant and hilarious, and the 10-12 people attending are big-hearted ex-culty-now-recovering-from-cults weirdos. It is an honour to recover in this way. Janja in the cult recovery world is at the level as Bob Marley in reggae. She is a legend. It is my favourite therapy group.
A year ago, I would have never imagined this is how I spend 4 hours a month - talking about religious cults, New Age spiritual cults, therapy cults, psychedelic therapy cults, yoga cults, and the list goes on.
I was unaware of my involvement in cult programming and my participation in coercive and manipulative behaviour in community and coaching until the wheels fell off the world in the last two years. (I talk about it in detail on this podcast.)
It is hard to admit, but I am someone that caused undue influence in my work. I have perpetuated lies and misinformation and unknowingly used manipulative and coercive tactics in my desire to help create a more peaceful and promising world. I use to believe it was simple. The powerful mind could change it all,
I had a well-meaning plan for all those suffering, swimming in the ocean of pain. All we had to do was to be a big enough believer, where everyone wins, a believer in immense love and radical healing. We could just hit reset, and start over from a new place, linking arms on a new earth, newly elevated, expanded, with high vibration, consciousness-raising heroes, all connected through bliss. We thought we were special, and somehow, we knew better.
I know better now, but at the time, I was perfectly primed as a link in a long chain of teachers, leaders and my lineage that did the same harm.
I own this conundrum left in my lap. It was my bullshit and my lies too. Being a hardcore believer in all things possible meant nothing was real.
Now, I am one of the weirdos talking about how to recover and do better.
If you are involved in or considering becoming a client of coaches and consultants in the mindset, personal development and self-development fields, watch The Vow on HBO, which is about the "human potential" cult NXIVM.
Cult-ish behaviour causes mental, emotional and financial injury to vulnerable people looking to be helped.
Lots of coaches and programs that are considered “ethical” use language and provide training on
-being at cause
-control vs command
-using unsafe assessment tools to help with self-awareness
-NLP (which CAN be used ethically, although I no longer use it)
Human development/business/religious cults begin at the same place.
SMART, EDUCATED people get brought in through purposeful coercive design, systems and language because they desperately want help.
Most people start like me, I was hopeful.
Just because whatever it is is famous, it promises beautiful results, your bestie did it, a celebrity did it, or it is "privileged" and pricey doesn't mean it is safe or ethical.
It is also true that I have been a good coach and have had good coaches and leaders from different areas and scales of business. But now that I know what I know, it was only since I have taken a back seat to sit back and really learned that I have found safe leaders offering authentic leadership.
A good leader is not trying to gain likes and comments, is not ego-dependent or hoards 100% loyal followers at their expense.
Please find leaders who want to create other leaders.
Safe relationships offer deep conversations, adventurous, sometimes uncomfortable exploration, curiosity and different opinions. The time we share with the people we surround ourselves with is that important.
Today like many days with Janja, I am learning my responsibility and forgiveness. I offer this community and my clients grace. I am taking time to reflect - I want to rest, breathe, be playful, tell jokes, be weird, and a little bit funny.
In the end, your humanity intact is what matters most.
Here are a few great articles to read more about what to look for:
"If you think it could never happen to you, then you're the most vulnerable," Steve Hassan says. Read it here
These are multi-level marketing (MLMs), self-help groups, and Large Group Awareness Training groups (LGATs) -it is essential to recognize the warning signs to avoid being caught in the trap.
Seek Safely for Consumers: Consult our Red Flags to ensure a safe & wise investment of your time & money.
#igotout is to inspire survivors of high-demand environments who have experienced cultic, religious, or spiritual abuse to tell and share their stories - if and when it's safe to do so.