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Newsletter May-June 2021
Dannie Druehyld, the witch from Rold Forest
It is so that circumstances can change everything. The witch from Rold Forest, Dannie Druehyld, is dead May 3, 2021, aged 74.
Right now I´m preparing an article, but here is a link where you can see some videos. Only in Danish, but they will show you Rold Forest, also videos from The Mines of Thingbæk (she speaks in English in a moment of the first video):
My own article about Dannie Druehyld:
How Raven Spring Got Its Name
I will return with further text.
In memory of Dannie Druehyld:
Rest in peace, Dannie, here, in the Seven-League Forest of Fairy Tales.
My work with texts announced in the last newsletter, March-April 2021, continues.
Texts which probably will be finished in the end of June, when I send the Newsletter, May-June, out:
1) Is it a Coincidence That the Sensationalistic Interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was Performed by New Age Guru Oprah Winfrey?
2) New Age as a Potential Violent Movement
3) A Critique of Tony Robbins and His Mishmash of Management Theory, Psychotherapy and Spirituality
4) United States of America: Homeland of the New Gurus
The two latter articles are based on two documentaries, I´ve just seen (the articles might not be longer than below):
1) Tony Robbins: I´m not Your Guru (Netflix – watch trailer)
2) The New American Gurus (French Documentary – watch it on YouTube)
1) Tony Robbins: I´m not Your Guru
TONY ROBBINS: I AM NOT YOUR GURU, a feature documentary film about internationally renowned life and business strategist Tony Robbins, is a revelatory cinéma vérité film that goes behind the scenes of his mammoth seminar "Date With Destiny," attended by over 2,500 people in Boca Raton, Florida, each year, to give an insider look at how one man can affect millions. Granted never before seen access to the behind the scenes modus operandi of this enormous event, this film captures both the immense effort of producing this live seminar, as well as the life-changing transformations of the participants in real time. Embedding with Tony Robbins and his team over the course of six days, Academy Award nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger turns an unflinching eye on Tony Robbins' powerful and uncompromising approach to achieving success, ensuring the attendees leave "Date With Destiny" with new perspective on the forces, thoughts, and feelings that motivate their behavior and help them take control of their lives. Pulling back the curtain on Tony Robbins, a man that traverses the globe and counsels over 200,000 people annually, including world leaders, pundits, entrepreneurs, CEOs, athletes and celebrities, through interviews and unprecedented access, TONY ROBBINS: I AM NOT YOUR GURU is an emotional tour de force that unveils the inner-workings of this mega event, the zealous participants and the man himself.
There is especially one scene where I had anough:
Sometimes this turbo-powered version of “Dear Abby” can seem misguided, as when he bullies a woman uncertain about a relationship into breaking up with her boyfriend by phone at that very moment. (Understandably, he hangs up on her, and a postscript reveals that they worked out staying together after all.)
Quote from New York times:
In “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru,” an immersive look at his 2014 seminar in Boca Raton, Fla., so much is lobbed that this almost fawning documentary plays at times like a horror movie. There is something almost vampiric about this public siphoning of hurt, from the self-loathing of a suicidal young man to the devastating anguish of a woman who survived a childhood of sex slavery. Is she on the road to being healed, we wonder, or has she just exchanged one possible cult for another?
“I’m gonna show you what to do to reshape yourself,” Mr. Robbins tells the young man, and more than 2,000 pairs of ears prick up. This is what they have come from all over the world, and paid almost $5,000, to learn; and like a carefully honed combination of Elmer Gantry, Dr. Phil and David Copperfield (when Mr. Robbins yanks back the curtain, it’s your deepest psychological wound that’s revealed), their host will not disappoint.
I have written about Tony Robbins before, in my article:
A Critique of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT)
The new article is:
A Critique of Tony Robbins and His Mishmash of Management Theory, Psychotherapy and Spirituality
Reviews of the documentary:
Review: ‘Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru’ Depicts a Self-Help Prophet (New York Times)
Film Review: ‘Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru’, by Dennis Harvey, Variety, March 16, 2016
A Critique of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) (Features a critique of Tony Robbins)
Management Theory and the Self-help Industry
A Critique of Self-help and The Mythology of Authenticity (describes how religion and philosophy have been reduced to psychology, and how the traditional cyclic being has been changed into a linear “becoming” – inspired by, for example, Nietzsche)
A Critique of Coaching (in the end of this article, I mention the Danish psychologist Nina Østby Sæther, who, in an article in the book Sevrealisering (page 89ff), writes, that the ideal about the Ego-unfolding human being shows ifself, in a remarkable way, to remind about the actual behaviour of the so-called psychopath. The resemblance steps forward by comparing the characteristic psychopathic traits with the typical attitude to life, which is introduced by the management theorists and the coaching industry)
The Devastating New Age Turn Within Psychotherapy (general introduction to New Age psychotherapies)
A Critique of Cathartic Psychotherapies (gives an insight in the background for Tony Robbins´s "philosophy": Attack therapy, or Confrontational therapy).
Lucifer Morningstar - a Philosophical Love Story (free ebook. in the chapter called "Spiritual Vampires" - which the above quote from New York Times also mentions - I give a further description of the attack therapies, which grew out of American centers such as Esalen, and other "human potential" centers, as for example EST).
A Critique of the Indian Oneness Movement and Its Use of Western Success Coaching (in the documentary we see how Tony Robbins sits in a classical meditation position. According to the Oneness Movement, which he totally transformed into a his own Western Self-help theme, he is a fully enlightened master - a good story and a use of the thought distortion "Truth by Authority" - see my ebook: A Dictionary of Thought Distortions).
2) The New American Gurus
My new article – United states of America: Homeland of the New Gurus - is inspired by this documentary. It will be a follow-up to my article:
United States of America: Homeland of the Matrix Conspiracy
According to the US Constitution, anyone can found a religion and spread its message. Many Americans are doing just that. The range of religious communities is diverse and stretches from sea to shining sea. Religions are given tax exemption and governmental neutrality, so-called “benevolent neutrality” that allows religious organizations to exist without sponsorship and without interference.
As the French narrator says, then this would never be allowed in France. And there are some good reasons for why you shouldn´t allow anyone to found a religion.
As I myself have experienced through 36 years of working with spiritual crises, I´m amazed over how many psychic ill people who, in New Age, and the implied subjectivism and relativism, have found a way of explaining their psychic illness away as a “spiritual awakening”, whereafter they often start a career as guru, shaman or spiritual teacher. As I write on my page, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy:
I don´t want to call myself a shaman. There are some specific reasons for this. There was a time when I had a shaman website. One of the reasons I stopped working as a shaman, was due to the many psychic ill people in this environment who, due to New Age subjectivism and relativism, confuse their psychic illness with spiritual constructs, as for example kundalini and shamanic awakening. This is often the case with people who would be diagnosed as skizophrenic, delusional, bipolar, or simply disconnected and untethered from collective reality. Often they even work as shamans, therapists or spiritual healers (see my article: The Faust Syndrome and the End of the Time of Enlightened Masters).
For some years now, the US has in that way been in the midst of a second "New Age" wave. Shamans, life coaches and spiritualists are doing good business thanks to people’s search for meaning.
One current trend is self-healing using kambo, a highly toxic secretion of the American giant macaque frog, which is administered in group ceremonies. It leads to vomiting, palpitations and dizziness, which adherents regard as a cleansing of the body. If used incorrectly, the substance can lead to cardiac arrest.
One guru’s career is continuing, despite the deaths of his followers. Life-coach James Arthur Ray was sentenced to two years in prison in 2011, after three participants in one of his workshops died in a home-made sauna. In 2019, he celebrated his comeback in Las Vegas, and now sells self-realization seminars for thousands of dollars. For his followers, it’s proof that Ray's strategy works.
The US has given birth to huge sects that survive thanks to the utter financial dedication of their members. In 2019, cult-founder Keith Raniere was convicted in a sensational trial, having exploited and at times abused 15,000 women. One former member shares the barbaric methods that were used to keep women in the cult.
This documentary takes a journey through America’s quest for spiritual fulfillment, shedding light on the questionable practices of self-appointed gurus.
How America became the land of the new gurus (the following passage will appear both in the Meghan Markel interview and in the article on the new American gurus):
Alfred North Whitehead was a widely influential twentieth century philosopher and mathematician. He is responsible for coining the following celebrated quote about Plato's enduring influence.
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato (Process and Reality, p. 39).
In connection with Platonism, it ought to be mentioned that there is a distinctively American form of Platonism, fostered by the Concord School of Philosophy. The Concord School of Philosophy was a lyceum-like series of summer lectures and discussions of philosophy in Concord, Massachusetts from 1879 to 1888.
Starting the Concord School of Philosophy had long been a goal of founder Amos Bronson Alcott and others in the Transcendental movement. The school was based partly on Plato's Academy. Many of the school's lectures and readings focused on reminiscences of the Transcendentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson attended some of the school's meetings before his death, and was commemorated after; readings from Henry David Thoreau's then-unpublished journals were among the most popular events.
This school is fascinating in the way that it, precisely like Plato´s academy, was spoiled by sophists (today evolutionists), and eventually was closed as a result. In his brilliant book American Gurus – From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion, Arthur Versluis writes:
Broadly speaking, there were two primary streams of thought that emerged from American Transcendentalism and, in particular, from Emerson and Alcott. One was the development of distinctively American forms of Platonism, fostered by the Concord School and its consistent inclusion of Platonic subjects. The other was what became known as “New Thought,” later becoming New Age, which Catherine Albanese termed “American metaphysical religion.” The New Age will be part of the context for our final chapters in this book, whereas we must turn now to consider a very different creature, American Platonism as it engaged in battle with materialism and evolutionism (page 55).
What is interesting is that the documentary features two American gurus, which I already has examined: James Arthur Ray and Shaman Durek:
1) James Arthur Ray and the Sweat Lodge Tragedy
In the end of this article I wrote:
I am not a prophet, but I would guess, that when Ray comes out of prison, he will continue the same teachings, and he will rise to more success than ever. This is namely the typical reaction in religious movements – due to the thought distortion called Cognitive dissonance – see my book A Dictionary of Though Distortions.
This is precisely what we see in the documentary. James Arthur Ray is back with extremely expensive courses, and his old followers are also back (his courses are very similar to Tony Robbins. The main message is how to become a superhuman, get success and earn a lot of money, all mixed with spirituality. The concept of the superhuman, which also Tony Robbins uses, and which are getting more and more mainstream in New Age, reveals how much Nietzsche is influencing the American educational system – see for example Allan Bloom´s book: The Closing of the American Mind – How Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today´s Students).
2) “Shaman Durek”: Yet Another American New Thought Missionary (a Critique)
1) Evolutionism - The Red Thread in The Matrix Conspiracy (this ebook explains why New Age is extremely political and activistic in its approach. It also explains why sophism (con artistry) is more important that philosophy (truth-seeking). Finally it shows the central role of transhumanism in the Matrix Conspiracy; the idea that humans ought to melt together with machines)).
2) The Tragic New Age Confusion of Eastern Enlightenment and Western Subjective Idealism (explains how New Age is placing enlightenment in the ordinary psychological mind, instead of in a metaphysical/transcendent consciousness, and thereby is creating endless examples of ego-inflation. The documentary explains that New Age is a typical American phenomenon).
3) The Psychedelic Renaissance and David Jay Brown (the documentary also shows the American cultural appropriation of shamanism in connection with the use of psychedelics. In this booklet we see how David Jay Brown claims that California is above all other countries in evolution and spirituality).
4) Plastic Shamanism versus the Traditional Shamanic Awakening (more about the American cultural appropriation of shamanism. Both James Arthur Ray´s original concept of the “spiritual warrior retreat” which led to the Sweat Lodge Tragedy, and the newer “Shaman Durek” are examples of plastic shamans).
Pages from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden (1871-1920)
In the blog Category, The Matrix Conspiracy News:
1) Is it a Coincidence That the Sensationalistic Interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was Performed by New Age Guru Oprah Winfrey?
2) A Critique of Tony Robbins and His Mishmash of Management Theory, Psychotherapy and Spirituality
In the blog category, New Sûnyatâ Sutras:
Meditation as an Art of Life is not a momentary process but a continual living, a continual sharpening of the mind
New Vagabond Photograpy (Coming up):
1) Venice 2018: Part 2-4
2) Greenland 2020: Part 2 (last pictures from Greenland. I haven´t published the parts in chronological order; that is: part 1 and part 3 to 6 are already published)
3) Rold Forest 2021: Winter´s Tales 2