Hi! I’d like to talk about Healing
Some weeks ago Skywalker invited me to contribute to BAoL. (It took me a little while to arrange things so that I can give this amazing blog a true commitment and the attention it deserves.)
Some of you know me. I’d guess most do not.
I’m a licensed psychotherapist specializing in healing from spiritual and cultic abuse.
I am in awe of what Klim accomplished with the original blog and Skywalker and the team are continuing with this one. And the courage that you BAoLers, as a community, demonstrate every day by sharing, discussing, revealing, and sometimes arguing.
I’ve never seen this extraordinary outpouring from any like community in the 16 years I’ve been at this work.
I have a very warm place in my heart for the community of former AoLers. As you know, Ravi spun off from the Maharishi. His movement shares many points with the TM movement.
But beyond all that, I feel at home with former AoLers. The hopes, dreams, visions that many of you shared in joining and dedicating lives to AoL remain my dreams today. Any of my AoL clients can tell you how often we laugh in amazement at how similar our lives have been.
I spent 23 years in the Transcendental Meditation movement, from ages 18 to 41. I was not highly placed. The Maharishi personally made me a TM teacher in 1978. I knew some of the inner circle personally, but not intimately: Jerry Jarvis, Deepak Chopra, Bevan Morris, some current “Rajas,” others. My most intense, full-time involvement lasted about 7 years. I was at best middle management, a TM teacher/initiator/governor who briefly ran centers in Buffalo and San Francisco. However, I did lecture and provide services to thousands, worked “on staff” for several years (for $25/month), wrote/edited/managed departments for their Press, and so forth.
I left TM permanently in 1995. But perhaps I racked up some good karma. Two warm, generous, brilliant women were there to guide me through the wrenching pain of giving up my dreams: Janja Lalich, PhD was my exit counselor, Margaret Singer, PhD was my therapist.
A lot of people say things like, “They saved my life.” I want you to know they kept me from ending my life during the most desperate year of my life just after leaving TM.
Almost immediately in 1995, I became an “anti-cult activist” by founding the TranceNet.net website and being active all over the Net—first with Transcendental Meditation, later with many, many other toxic groups.
These days I do not count myself a member of the “anti-cult movement.” My focus is on healing from the devastating trauma that I and so many others experienced during and after our toxic groups. In fact, I recently retired from a blog I founded that is skeptical of TM, TM-Free Blog, to focus all my time where I feel it is needed most: offering direct care to those who seek help putting their lives back together.
To that end, I’m founding the Center for Spiritual & Cultic Abuse, which provides direct care to anyone regardless of ability to pay. We’re still incorporating, but expect to have our website up and services offered in January. No more nasty Twitter comments to toxic group leaders from me! Who’s got the time?
I actually have a couple of posts ready to go that discuss healing. But first, I just wanted to say hello and let you know where I’m coming from.