Tag Archives | New Age

Grisly Death At A Mysterious Buddhist Desert Retreat

Southwestern chic and cults are both very hot right now. The New York Times on a strange Buddhist sect which blends years of silence, the pursuit of riches, and perhaps ritual stabbings:

Bowie, AZ— The rescuers had rappelled from a helicopter to a cave 7,000 feet up in a rugged desert mountain. Inside, they found a jug with about an inch of browned water. They found a woman, Christie McNally, thirsty and delirious. And they found her husband, Ian Thorson, dead, apparently from exposure and dehydration.

The puzzle only deepened when the authorities realized that the couple had been expelled from a nearby Buddhist retreat in which dozens of adherents, living in rustic conditions, had pledged to meditate silently for three years, three months and three days. Their spiritual leader was a charismatic Princeton-educated monk whom some have accused of running the retreat as a cult.

The monk who ran the retreat, Michael Roach, had previously run a diamond business worth tens of millions of dollars and was now promoting Buddhist principles as a path to financial prosperity, raising eyebrows from more traditional Buddhists.

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Collective ‘Om’ at Wisconsin Capitol on Eve of Historic Walker Recall Election (Video)

Via Revealing Politics:
The night before Wisconsin’s recall election progressive activists gathered around the Capitol to “cleanse it of negative energy” and sing together in solidarity. The evening opened with songs, some of which were written specifically for the events, as lyric sheets were handed out to attendees. Attendees then practiced a meditational “Om” and then all pulled together to circle the Capitol building with their collective energy.
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The Rise of the New Spiritual Counterculture

Occupy Wall Street MediationIt’s February 17 and I’m standing in front of a full room at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, CA.  Once again, we’ve filled up the seats and people are standing in the back as I deliver my opening line, “If you told me several years, I’d be here talking about Jesus and ayahuasca, I would have laughed my ass off.”  But perhaps more incredible than tales of spiritual awakening is that here I am on the final night of my Electric Jesus West Coast book tour, knowing we have shattered the odds.

Enthusiastic crowds have greeted me at almost all of my sixteen stops. This shouldn’t be happening as first-time author in a wilting publishing industry. But I’ve had a secret grassroots weapon, one that a lot of mainstream America doesn’t know about — it’s the flourishing new spiritual counterculture.

The audience in Gatsby Books is dressed in hipster vintage printed tees and American Apparel cotton hoodies with esoteric flares of spiral plug earrings and Peruvian indigenous bracelets.… Read the rest

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Swiss Woman Starves to Death on Sunlight Diet

SunlightVia the Herald Sun:

The woman embarked on the diet after watching the controversial 2010 documentary film In The Beginning There Was Light, newspaper Tages Anzeiger said.

The movie centres on Swiss chemistry doctor Michael Werner, 62, and 83-year-old Indian yogi Prahlad Jani, who both claim to derive sustenance from spiritual means rather than the intake of food — a concept also known as breatharianism.

Werner claims to have lived without food since 2001, while Jani told the documentary of how he had lived for 70 years not only without food, but also without water.

The woman, from the east of Switzerland, saw the movie and decided to try to survive entirely on light, preparing for the process by reading a book by Australian breatharian Ellen Greve, who goes by the name Jasmuheen. In line with the book, the Swiss woman, who was in her early 50s, did not eat or drink anything for a week — and even spat out her saliva — before resuming drinking in the second and third weeks.

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Nassim Haramein: Fraud or Sage?

NassimWill the new age messiah of free energy please stand up! You may recognize Nassim Haramein from his cameo in the recent internet film “Thrive”. Surely many are wondering if there is any legitimacy to his credentials or theories and one curious skeptic has taken him to task in the following article. Via Up:

I’d like to outline here some very sound reasons for asserting that Nassim Haramein is grossly misleading people by claiming to have any depth of scientific understanding behind his ideas. If you’d prefer to just see some straightforward examples, try some of these — but do come back when you’re done … (Alternatively, read this if you think I’m just being a bit horrid.)

On many of his videos, and on the main page of his Resonance Project’s website, he displays a “prestigious” award for one of his physics papers. What is this?

His certificate looks at first to have been awarded for best paper in the whole of “physics, quantum mechanics, relativity, field theory and gravitation” at the entire university of Liège, Belgium in the year 2009, and “chosen by a panel of peer reviewers”.

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Everything You Know is Wrong — Disinformation: The Podcast Series Finale

Everything You Know is Wrong — Disinformation: The Podcast Series Finale

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Everything You Know is WrongThis two-hour edition of Disinformation: The Podcast is the final episode of the series. Join Raymond Wiley, Joe McFall, Austin Gandy, and Joe Nolan for one last journey into the bizarre undercurrents of the human psyche. Raymond talks about the recent release of his first book, The Georgia Guidestones: America's Most Mysterious Monument. Austin Gandy's Invisible College returns with a new take on the infamous Knights Templar, and the Oslo shootings they are said to have inspired. Joe Nolan's Insomnia delves into the undying myths of Carlos Castaneda, and the New Age subculture they have inspired. Finally, Raymond Wiley and Joe McFall present a retrospective discussion of their podcast careers, along with impressions of the occult mysteries, conspiracy theories, and obscure realms of belief featured in their seminal broadcasts. After 7 years, 80 podcasts, and more than a million downloads, these two friends say thank you and goodbye to the audience ... For now.
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Woman ‘Cooked To Death’ At Guru’s Self-Improvement Seminar

image40Be careful what you consent to in the name of new age-y self actualization — it can go horribly wrong. From the National Post:

Quebec police officers have completed their report into the bizarre death of Chantale Lavigne — who was “cooked to death” at a personal development seminar.

Lavigne died in hospital after she and eight others in a personal-development seminar called Dying in Consciousness were covered with mud, wrapped in plastic, put under blankets and immobilized with their heads in cardboard boxes for about nine hours, under instructions to hyperventilate.

Gabrielle Frechette, a self-styled therapist, was the seminar’s operator. According to Radio-Canada, Frechette has been running self-improvement courses for about two decades, and claims to be channelling Melchisedech, a Biblical figure.

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How To Start A Dance Kult

BreakdanceLet’s start with what God is: the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

The confusion about the nature of God starts with the idea God is separate from Existence. Also, there seems to be a tendency to treat the Father as God itself and the Son & Holy Spirit as a part of, but not equal to the Father. From these simple misunderstandings comes the logical paradoxes we’re all familiar with.

So here’s where we begin to clear things up. God is the single thing, but there are three aspects that make up the totality of God. Here’s the analogy: we take a piece of cheese. The cheese is one thing; however, there are aspects to the cheese that make up the whole thing: we have the shape, color & taste of the cheese. So where does the cheese end and its aspects begin? Well obviously that’s an impossible question.

So now the issue is defining the Father, Son & Holy Spirit aspects and how they together define God.… Read the rest

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Sex On The Brain: Orgasms Unlock Altered Consciousness

BrainKayt Sukel writes in New Scientist:
With a click and a whirr, I am pulled into the scanner. My head is strapped down and I have been draped with a blanket so that I may touch my nether regions — my clitoris in particular — with a certain degree of modesty. I am here neither for a medical procedure nor an adult movie. Rather, I am about to stimulate myself to orgasm while an fMRI scanner tracks the blood flow in my brain. My actions are helping Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and colleagues to tease apart the mechanisms underlying sexual arousal. In doing so, not only have they discovered that there is more than one route to orgasm, but they may also have revealed a novel type of consciousness — an understanding of which could lead to new treatments for pain.
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Trial Of New Age Guru Reveals Bizarre Practices

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office photo of James Arthur Ray, after his arrest on manslaughter charges.In October 2009 reports of mutliple deaths at an Arizona sweat lodge retreat led by New Age guru James Arthur Ray (one of the “teachers” in the hit movie and book The Secret) rocked the self help world. Now that he’s on trial, details of his bizarre practices are emerging. Mark Duncan reports for the Daily Courier:

Echoes of a lost life hung thickly over Judge Warren Darrow’s courtroom Tuesday after a jury heard the recorded voice of Kirby Brown, one of three people who died after a sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona in 2009.

The deaths led to charges of manslaughter against noted motivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray, who has pleaded not guilty.

“When we started the (Samurai) game, I was like you,” Brown said on the recording, which was made just before she and the other attendees entered the sweat lodge. It is a segment from recordings made during four days of Ray’s October 2009 Spiritual Warrior Retreat.

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